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Ef^RLY Kf\H&f\& 



. . . By . . . 

Rev. R D. FISHER, D. D. 


Relation of Kansas to Freedom. John Brown. Jim Lane. 

Days that Tried Men's Souls. Circuit Riding in the 

Fifties. Quantrell's Raid. Army Life in the 

Southwest. Work Among the Contrabands. 

Church Life Among the Mormons, 

Congressional Chaplaincy Canvass. 


Second Edition 






Copyrighted by 




the wife of my youth, 

whose counsel 

has made my success in life possible, 


whose wonderful heroism and self-possession 

saved me from death by 

Quantrell's murderous band of guerrilla?, 

this volume is 

affectionately dedicated. 


^i|^UCH of the history and many of the incidents 
&.ll«/ herein narrated are so related to the conflict 
between Slavery and Freedom and the defeat and 
destruction of the former, "the sum of all villainies," 
as to justify me in interweaving a resume of its 
introduction and growth into a national disgrace, its 
insolence and downfall, with the more personal 
features of my autobiography. The subject is neces- 
sarily treated imperfectly for the sake of brevity, 
yet, I believe, with accuracy. This volume is written 
in response to oft-repeated solicitations of friends 
of the author to put on record the more eventful 
incidents of a life devoted to God and Freedom in 
days that tried men's souls, but not without the hope 
that it may awaken additional interest in the im- 
portant part played by Kansas in securing the 
freedom of a bonded race, and that it may also, by 
its record of national and individual accomplish- 
ments, encourage the further bridling and eventual 
abolition by the people of " God and Home and 
Native Land " of that greatest crime remaining in 
the wake of slavery — the rum traffic. 

I have tried, moreover, to portray an occasional 
thrilling incident with the idea in view of enter- 
taining and instructing the young people of Kansas 
and the Church into whose hands the volume may 
come, and into whose hearts I would instill the 
patriotism of the heroes whose achievements are 
herein depicted and a love for those principles 
which carry with them a confident hope of Eternal 


The Author. 


If we were to seek by first analysis the cause of the 
great agitation that ^ave Kansas her prestige and 
made her name illustrious we would find that it rests 
in "the agitation that precedes the organization of so- 
ciety." In each physical sense of mankind a passion 
lies latent. Each sense, appetite, desire, obtains grati- 
fication by reprisal and appropriates what is obtained 
from others as a trophy of conquest. Hence the origin 
and perpetuation of slavery. Enlightened conscience 
recognizes the rights of the person and forms the basis 
of justice. Multiplied antagonisms result from the 
consciousness of right and wrong. The strong oppress 
the weak. Agitation appears in the defense of human 
rights. To oppose wrong-doing and oppression, self- 
protection develops as a law of nature. Here begins 
the tendency toward association — or society. As all 
society recognizes this necessity, favorable conditions 
are created for mutual as well as for self-protection. 

The Anglo-Saxon had and still possesses a strong 
consciousness of the ego; the African slave in our 
America had it in a less pronounced type; the Indian 
tribes to a yet lesser degree; consequently their dis- 
appearance before a more pronounced type of person- 
ality and more closely banded association. The Cau- 
casions find highest culture in refined society; the 
slaves in field and cabin association; the redmen only 
in clans and tribes. 

The soldier, though a product of war, is a necessity 
of civilization. The time was when there were no sol- 
diers, no severe antagonisms of interests, either indi- 
vidual or social. But under aggression the natural 



rights of others appeal for redress; hence, from time 
immemorial the soldier has been seemingly an indis- 
pensable factor in the crystallization of society and the 
formation of states and nations, as well as toward their 

The gun as an emblem of soldierly prowess has often 
changed the maps of the world, has destroyed inquisi- 
tions and prisons in which tyranny has gloried and 
liberty has been incarcerated; it has furnished themes 
for poets, material for historians, and made a highway 
for civilization; it has tunneled the hihs and scaled 
the mountains, crossed seas and continents, and planted 
symbols of Christianity upon the islands of the seas ; it 
has preserved and it has demolished nations ; an d with 
the sword, an emblem of power, has established the 
prerogatives of those mightier weapons of civilization 
and Christianity, — the pen and the pulpit. 

The gun has furnished painters and sculptors sub- 
jects for brush and chisel; pictures, pedestals, gardens, 
museums and triumphal arches proclaim and perpetu- 
a'te the triumphs of the gun over barbarism and the 
gospel of peace over war! 

The tall columns of Trojan, Marcus Aurelius and 
[Washington, the column of Vendome, the triumphal 
arches of Titus, Constantine and Napoleon, and the 
'magnificent mausoleum of Grant would not have 
stood save for the Gun and the Sword. But the 
Evangel of Peace on Earth, tha Gospel, follows in 
the wake of conquering armies, heahng the wounds 
that cruel war has caused, and establishing here and 
there and yonder, everywhere, eleemosynary institu- 
tions as trophies redeemed from the barbarism of w^r, 
and points to them with pride as evidences ol peace 
established with God and man, peace on earth and 
good will to men. 


All over the world float the emblems of war. Even 
from the cathedral of Milan the image of Napoleon 
looks down upon the church. But in the gateway to 
America, Liberty Enlightening the World stands with 
radiant brow and uplifted hand, flashing out the light 
of the gospel of peace and a welcome to all who seek 
a home in a christian land. 

Society is the threshold of civilization. But in so- 
ciety agitation never ceases, though form and field of 
action may change. Divergent ideas give rise to 
strife, and strife continues to the conflict of arms, 
which is simply the antagonism of ideas materialized 
into brute force and signalized by the sabre and the 

The preaching of peace contemplates a changed con- 
dition of the senses. Life is to be no longer sensual, 
carnal, devlish, but spiritual and elevated. Barbarism 
gives place to civilization, slavery to freedom, cruelty 
to charity, hatred to love; and men are fitted for the 
highest development and happiness. 

The history and condition of Mexico, as well as our 
southern states, within the period of Kansas' history, 
shows clearly the oppressive, repellant, destructive 
trend of power and the triumphant spirit of conserva- 
tive peace. 

Just after the rebellion it was found that in Mexico 
the Romish church was losing control of the people, 
and that the revenues of the church were failing. An 
appeal was made to the Pope of Rome for relief. He 
cast about among the Catholic nations for aid to 
more firmly establish the authority of the church. 
Money -and soldiers were needed. France could fur- 
nish the men but not the money. Austria found in 
Arch Duke Maximillian an eligible and wealthy prince 
who could supply the latter. But the occupancy of 


Mexico by a foreign potentate and troops was so con- 
trary to the Monroe doctrine that Mr. Seward, then 
secretary of state, notified Napoleon III. to withdraw 
his troops within a given time or General Logan with 
two hundred thousand veteran troops fresh from the 
victorious fields of the south would be sent to help 
them vacate. The French troops were withdrawn. 
Maximillian sought refuge in Queretaro, where he was 
captured and tried by court martial by the Mexican au- 
thorities, and shot. Thus ended monarchy in America! 

President Juarez confiscated the church property, 
sold it, and sequestrated the proceeds to the use of the 
states, and Mexico entered upon an era of unprece- 
dented prosperity. The oppressive and repellant ac- 
tion of power ceased. The conservatism of peace was 
enthroned, and even leaders of banditti were controlled 
by its assertive influence for good. 

So in Kansas. The right of way for peace was se- 
cured by the gun, and the right of moral and intellectual 
darkness gave way before the insistent flashes of gospel 
light. Even more so has it been in the fair southland, 
until now, in the history of a generation, the pow^r 
of oppression has given way to intelligent conservatism, 
with education, science and religion dominating, and 
half a continent, once dark as midnight with human 
woe, then scarred and scorched and blighted by war, 
now blossoms like the rose and is filled by the gospel 
with joy and song and prosperity. Even the poor chat- 
tel sold from the auction block has become a scholar, 
a christian, and a leader in higher education. 

Such is the transforming power of the Gun and the 

It is intensely interesting to trace the marked trial 
of the two types of civilization, or rather the barbarism 
of slavery and the refinement of Christianity, that met 


on this chosen battle field of Kansas. There was 
Franklin, a pro-slavery town, now a cluster of farm 
houses and barns. West of this, four miles, is the free- 
state centre, the historic city, the Athens of the west, — 
Lawrence, — destroyed twice by rebel hatred, now the 
iseat of the Kansas State University, whither annually 
go up ten hundred young men and women, students 
from Kansas' homes, to obtain thorough equipment 
for life's higher destinies. Twelve miles up the Kansas 
River is Lecompton, the old pro-slavery capital, where 
was expended a hundred thousand dollars by the gen- 
eral government to erect .a slave state capital building. 
The ruins, and even the site itself, would have been 
obliterated ere this had not the loyal United Brethren 
located thereon a university, calling it after the grim 
Kansas chieftan, ''Lane University." Tecumseh, an- 
other pro-slavery town site, would have gone into ob- 
noxious deseuetude had not the Methodist Episcopal 
church made it the head of a circuit and planted a 
church and parsonage here. Just west stands Topeka, 
the home of churches, schools, prohibition and refine- 
ment, saved by the gospel. Up the river farther you can 
see the old stone house, without window or door, roof 
or floor, none of which it ever had, where the first pro- 
slavery legislature met, armed cap-a-pie, organized — 
and adjourned to the border of Missouri because the 
gospel of peace had located a college on Blue Mont, 
and by Methodist money and devotion consecrated it 
to civilization, education and Christianity. 

All over the state, in close proximity, are seen the 
evidences of the relationship of "The Gun and the 
Gospel;" in incorporating that relationship in the title 
of this book, I am but conserving the unity of the al- 
ready wTitten record of history. 




The careful reader of history cannot have failed to 
discover that from the earliest dawn of human society 
there has been an almost unintermittent struggle be- 
tween the weak and the strong, the rich and the poor, 
the good and the bad, for equality — social and re- 
ligious — before the law. Oppression by the strong 
was the source of human slavery, which has darkened 
and blighted almost every continent and realm, as well 
as cursed almost every tribe and nation and people. 
It was the exhibition of this spirit of oppression and 
the opposing spirit of freedom and reHgion that led 
our pilgrim fathers and mothers, in the year of our 
Lord 1620, on August 5, to leave the comforts and 
blessings of the civilization of the old world and cross 
the untried ocean to plant a new civilization on a new 
continent, amid the savage and untutored tribes of 
the forests and plains of North America, and which 
prompted them, when they landed at Plymouth Rock 
on Monday, December 11, O. S., 1620, before they 
left the cabin of the Mayflower to consecrate the 
continent to God and Freedom, to enter into a per- 
petual covenant "to live in peace and harmony, with 
equal rights to all, obedient to just laws made for the 
common good." To this simple but sublime constitu- 


tion of the oldest New England states all the heads 
of the famihes (forty-one in number) solemnly set 
their names. 

The astonishing feature of our history is the fact 
that very early in colonial days human slavery was in- 
troduced. In 1617 and 1618 King James had con- 
ferred upon the council of Plymouth a charter to all 
that part of America lying between the fortieth and 
forty-eighth parallels of north latitude, extending from 
ocean to ocean. The oldest Virginia colonists were 
idle, improvident and dissolute. They came from 
Newport in 1607. Of these only twelve were laborers, 
four carpenters, six or eight masons and blacksmiths, 
and forty-eight "gentlemen." The first famihes of 
Virginia, chronologically speaking, were the result of 
the sending of women to supply the lack of wives, their 
transportation being paid by the men in tobacco, the 
first cargo costing one hundred and twenty pounds 
and the second one hundred pounds per capita, pas- 
sage money, which the men cheerfully paid. In 1619 
negroes were brought to the colony as slaves, as both 
the English and Germans had held them for a term 
of service of a few months or years. In the month of 
August, 1619, a Dutch man-of-war sailed up the James 
River and offered twenty Africans for sale by auction. 
They were purchased by the wealthier planters and 
made slaves for life. Nearly fifty years later Negro 
slavery became well established in the Enghsh col- 
onies; so that at the time the Declaration of Independ- 
ence was adopted declaring that "these truths are self- 
evident, that all men are created equal; that they are 
endowed by the Creator with certain inalienable rights 
that among these rights are life, liberty and the 
pursuit of happiness," almost all the signatory colonies 
were involved in the inconsistency of holding their 


fellow-men in slavery. The first bloodshed in 
freedom's holy cause was that of a black man, Crispus 
Atticus, who died in the streets of Boston, almost un- 
der the shadow of Faneuil Hall, the birthplace and 
cradle of American liberty. 

During the revolutionary war the colonies were 
holding slaves, and when the war ended and a na- 
tional constitution came to be framed the most stub- 
born difficulty that confronted the patriots who had 
gained American independence was the problem, 
What shall be done with American slavery? Six of 
the thirteen states became absolute slave-holding 

It was hoped that slavery would die out of its own 
inertia, but it was fostered and grew and extended un- 
til Virginia, "the mother of presidents," became de- 
based and ruined by becoming a slave-breeding and 
slave-trading commonwealth. The admission of Ver- 
mont as a free state and Kentucky and Tennessee as 
slave states made the number of slave and free states 
equal, and made the senate half for freedom and half 
for slavery. In 1818 Illinois was admitted to free 
statehood and Alabama as a slave state. But when, 
in 1820, it was proposed to admit Missouri the North 
became alarmed on account of the encroachment of 
slavery northward. Maine was proposed as a free 
state, and a compromise was agreed upon that all that 
part of the Louisiana purchase lying north of Mason's 
and Dixon's line, or 36 degrees 30 minutes North 
latitude, should be forever free. Finally, the abolition 
of slavery was demanded by the American Anti-Slav- 
ery Society. The agitation spread. Slavery became 
arrogant and dictatorial. It controlled the dominant 
party. It held executive, administrative, judicial and 


legislative control. The plow-share of discord fur- 
rowed deep in church and state. In 1844 the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church was rent asunder, and other 
Christian bodies were later divided on this question. 
In 1845 Texas w^as annexed that she might counter- 
balance the possible growth of free states. Michigan 
balanced Arkansas, Iowa and Wisconsin balanced 
Florida and Texas. In 1850 California was admitted 
and the North thus gained an extra state. New 
Mexico and Utah c^uld not become slave states. 
Where could the South look? All remaining territory 
was free under the Missouri Compromise. Part of 
this must be overwhelmed by slavery, or all would be 
lost to the slave power. 

Herein lay the importance to civilization of the 
struggle for supremacy in Kansas. 

In 1853 and 1854 Senator Stephen A. Douglas, of 
Illinois, wished to become president, and launched a 
new political dogma — that of ''Squatter Sovereignty" 
— which meant that the people of a territory should 
settle at the ballot box the character of their domestic 
institutions, and he became the champion of the Kansas 
and Nebraska bill. This bill repealed, in its passage, 
the Missouri Compromise, and threw Kansas open to 
settlement by the slave-ocracy of the South. Mr. 
Douglas said he did not care whether slavery was 
voted "up or down, in or out." Kansas thus became 
the providential battle-ground upon which we believe 
God intended should be settled the struggle going on 
for six thousand years — the equality of man before 
law. Here the minions of the slave power met the 
representatives of the Christian civiHzation of the best 
and brightest pages in the world's history, worthy sons 
and daughters of the Puritan Pilgrim Fathers, ready 


to die in Freedom's holy cause. As Christ died to 
make men happy they were ready to die to make men 

South of Mason's and Dixon's Hne were the rich 
planters and families, unsuited by all their training, 
conditons and inclinations to become pioneers to settle 
a new state. There was a large number of whites (poor 
people) called by the rich "white trash," upon whom 
and their families the burdens of slavery rested with 
more cruel and crushing weight than upon the blacks. 
These were helpless, ignorant, and so poor that to 
emigrate was impossible. Had they found their way 
to Kansas they would probably have voted to make 
Kansas free that they might get homes. The negroes 
were of no use, having no vote, and if they had been 
brought in numbers it would have required an army 
to keep them from fleeing to Canada. So the slave 
power was here represented by border ruffians and 
refugees from justice, who came in armed bands with 
whisky, bowie-knives and revolvers. Thus they came, 
a motley crew, fit representatives of the barbarism of 
slavery, to make Kansas a slave state and then retire 
and leave the occupancy of the land to the planter. 
No thrifty towns, beautiful school houses and stately 
churches would have bedecked and crowned this 
fairest gem of all God's beautiful world had their ef- 
forts prevailed. 

North of Mason's and Dixon's Hne there was a sur- 
plusage of population, especially in the Northern and 
Aliddle States. Here were large families of educated 
people. These had married and were elbowing their 
neighbors for room. Many of them were small mer- 
chants, tradesmen, mechanics — adaptable men; they 
could make a living almost anywhere. Their wives 
were like them, and, used to work, able to help their 


husbands in a new state, and to the new state of Kan- 
sas they made their way. 

Many instances are recorded exempHfying unusual 
courage upon the part of these brave people. One 
little woman near Portis, Kansas, whose husband was 
an invalid, with the aid of her little boys made a dug- 
out and afterward dug a well thirty feet deep, securing 
an abundant supply of pure water. Another west ot 
Atwood, in Rawlins county, while her husband was 
working out at an average of 62J cents per day, broke 
forty acres of prairie ground and raised a crop of sod 
corn. Next spring she broke twenty acres more, 
plowed the forty she had formerly broken, and raised 
a crop on the forty and sod corn on the twenty. I 
had the pleasure of dedicating a sod church near their 

Such people as these came from the North and East 
in colonies and brought their children and their school 
books, and in some cases the school teacher and the 
preacher. They brought their Bibles and hymn-books 
along, and at even-tide had family prayer in camp or 
on boat; and on Sabbath they had class meeting or 
preaching. A Christian movement was this, and they 
came to make Kansas a free state. No marvel if when 
this stream of patriotic Christian civilization, involv- 
ing love for "God and Home and Native Land," met 
the barbarism of slavery there should be a conflict, 
resulting in bloodshed and death. And so it was. 
More than two hundred patriot lives were sacrificed 
on freedom's holy altar to make Kansas free, and 
hundreds of other loyal, liberty loving men lost all 
they had in the strife. "Bleeding Kansas" was no un- 
meaning phrase, and but for this sacrifice Kansas, 
fairest of the fair, would have been blighted and seared 
and scorched by slavery. 


Kansas was admitted to statehood January 29, 
1 861. It is four hundred and six miles East and 
West and two hundred and four miles North and 
South — the central state of the sisterhood — well or- 
ganized, a veritable sanitarium physically, morally, 
socially, religiously and educationally. It is composed 
of one hundred and five counties, with nine thousand, 
one hundred and seventy-four organized school dis- 
tricts, and eleven thousand, four hundred and ninety- 
six school rooms, almost all of which are furnished 
with modern conveniences for educational advantages 
for both teacher and pupil. It has the most salubrious 
climate, fertile and easily-cultivatable soil, the best and 
highest average (taking seven years as a period) of de- 
lightful weather, and more clear days and balmy 
nights than any other state in the Union. 

Taking all constitutional and statuary enactments, 
the laws that govern this sublime commonwealth are 
the result of the best minds, based upon experiment 
and experience, and really need less amendment to 
constitute a perfect system of civil jurisprudence than 
the laws of perhaps any other state in the Union. 
There has been wonderful and satisfactory una- 
nimity of action considering the heterogeneous 
character of our citizency, in all these enact- 
ments except in the prohibitory law; and want 
of harmony arises here from the very nature 
of that twin relic of barbarism — always an outlaw — 
the rum traffic, opposed to the peace and purity of 
the state. But even in this the great seal of the state 
is prophetic. 

This seal, without which no public document is of 
force, was adopted by the first legislature, having been 
designed by a joint committee of the lower and upper 
houses, and is at once a history and a prophecy. The 


original was designed by John J. Ingalls, at that time 
secretary of the senate. The motto "ad astra per as- 
pera" ''to the stars through difficulties" — was illus- 
trated in the original design by a lone bright star, rep- 
resenting Kansas rising above a field of cloud to join 
a constellation of stars numbering twenty-seven, as 
many as there were states composing the Union when 
Kansas was admitted to the sisterhood. 

The clouds of strife were rifted, territorial wars were 
dissipated. Bleeding but bright with the effulgence of 
liberty Kansas attracted the gaze of nations. Another 
star had arisen to bedeck the brow of liberty. The 
motto was adopted, but the design was changed so 
that the sky is murky and bedizened. This, too, may 
be prophetic for a season. But the clouds will roll 
away and Kansas will yet appear as the bright and 
morning star of the American firmament. 




Every great epoch in history is preceded by wide- 
spread agitation, is ushered in by action, springing 
from thought and motive of extreme intensity on the 
part of the actor, and is always in advance of the men- 
tahty of the age and always stamped by the idiosyn- 
crasies of the reformer whose soul is so wrapt in the 
oncoming, inevitable event as to be precipitated into 
action without counting the results to self or fortune. 
Thus it ever has been and doubtless ever will be in 
human Hfe and history. 

The first act of Moses, Deliverer and Law-Giver, 
in slaying the Egyptian oppressor, prefigured the de- 
liverance of Israel, voiced the universal desire for 
freedom, lost him the throne of Egypt, drove him per- 
sonally into banishment, inaugurated a new epoch in 
the destruction of Egypt, the then mightiest nation on 
earth, and quickened into birth a nation whose per- 
petuation without home or country or king, prince or 
ruler, is the standing miracle of the ages even until this 
day. So it was with John the Baptist. At the time of 
his appearance the world was full of desire and expec- 
tation for a new form of worship and spiritual service. 
Suddenly, without plan or forethought for personal 
safety or emolument, he burst upon the expectant 
world with the startling declaration "The Kingdom of 
Heaven is At Hand," and inaugurated a new era and 
a new salvation, even at the loss of his own head. The 


greatest character in human history, one whose every 
act was a sermon and whose every word was a revela- 
tion, perfected the era introduced by John the Bap- 
tist and crowned the ages with immortahty by dying 
that most ignominious of all deaths, crucifixion, and 
so demonstrated his infinite love for suffering humani- 
ty, as well as the most exalted plan and purpose for 
establishing the universal brotherhood of mankind. 

We need not multiply examples. Bridging from 
the fairest ensample of devotion to a cause the world 
has ever known, turning from the greater to the less, 
from the pattern to the follower, we have in the case 
of John Brown, of Osawatomie, the subject of these 
paragraphs, one in whom all that we have predicated 
of era-makers had full scope and concentration. He 
appeared in the arena of action when the public mind 
was surcharged with the electric impetus of coming 
events, when the dawn of a new age of broader free- 
dom trembled upon the horizon, when the watchers 
looked intently for the full rising of that sun which 
should warm the half-born thought to sturdy life and 
set reform in motion. 

John Brown was born at Torrington, Connecticut, 
May 9th, 1800, and died on the scaffold at Charleston, 
West Virginia, December 2nd, 1859. He was sixth 
in descent from that Peter Brown who came to New 
England in the Mayflower in 1620, and was a grand- 
son of Captain John Brown, a revolutionary officer 
who died in the American revolution. He was honor- 
ably and well connected, numbering among his im- 
mediate kinsfolk conspicuous Puritans, revolutionists, 
soldiers, lawyers, professors, doctors of divinity, ora- 
tors, physicians and farmers. His father and family 
moved to Hudson, Ohio, when John was five years 


old. Here in the Ohio wilderness he grew, a stal- 
wart youth. At the age of sixteen he joined the Con- 
gregational church and began studying for the min- 
istry. Ohio, especially Hudson, was at this time thor- 
oughly imbued with anti-slavery doctrine, and young 
Brown imbibed the sentiment freely as he grew toward 
manhood. Tall, athletic, studious, having the bear- 
ing of a theologue, he had, like the immortal Simon 
and Grant, been a tanner, and when from excessive 
application to study his eyes failed him he returned 
to his early vocation in Hudson. Here he married 
and partially reared his family of six children. He 
was farmer, tanner and land-surveyor while living at 
Hudson. In 1826 he moved to Richmond, Pennsyl- 
vania, near Meadville, w^here he remained until 1835, 
when he located at Franklin Miles, Portage County, 
Ohio. His life being one of change, his business 
while in this locality was one of speculative adventure 
in land and sheep until he finally moved to Boston 
and became a wool merchant. Here he made the ac- 
quaintance of such men as Caleb Cushing, Rufus 
Choate, Gerrett Smith and that greatest of all ex-slaves, 
Frederick Douglass. 

In 1848-49 he visited England to open a wool mar- 
ket and also to visit noted battle-fields. The world 
was one day to know why ! 

On his return he went at once to live among the 
colored farmers of North Elba, in the Adirondack 
woods, for the purpose of drilling a company of liber- 
ators from among them. The life of the people at 
North Elba was strictly pioneer, but though there 
were few roads, churches or school-houses the people 
were inclined to religion, education and thrift. Mrs. 
Brown's dwelling had but two rooms and in this house 
two families lived. In these humble surroundings, 


sowing what seeds they might toward a future reap- 
ing, they lived for several years. 

In the winter of 1854-55, after Kansas had been 
opened for settlement, the Browns prepared to settle 
there. The brothers — John Brown, Jr., Jason, Owen, 
Frederick and a half-brother, Salmon — established 
themselves in Miami County, near Osawatomie. To 
supplement their anti-slavery struggles in the new 
land they wrote to their father for aid. Through his 
efforts a mass-meeting was held in Utica and an anti- 
slavery society was formed to help settle Kansas. At 
this meeting the father pleaded eloquently for the cause 
for which his sons were doing valiant battle on the 
Western fields. ''Without shedding of blood," he 
cried, "there is no remission of sins!" He asked for 
arms, dwelt upon the violent spirit of the pro-slavery 
people and pledged himself to join his sons and make 
good report of their doings. Arms were provided and 
funds were furnished and the father was sent to his 
sons in Kansas. Such were the material results from 
Kansas meetings on both sides of Mason's and Dixon's 

The Brown contingent already in Kansas had select- 
ed claims and were serving in the free-state conven- 
tions. John Jr., had been elected to the free-state 
legislature at Topeka. They were all radical free-state 
men. When John Brown, Sr., had joined his sons at 
Osawotamie he found his sphere, and from and after 
October of 1855 he became a colossal figure in the 
nation's history, a bold picture down time's perspec- 
tive. His wife was ever his counsellor and ally, his 
sons, like the sons of the patriarchs of old, were his 
trusted lieutenants, and even his sons-in-law became 
part of his invincible cohort. So early as 1839 John 


Brown had declared that by blood atonement 
alone could the chattel slavery of human beings be 
destroyed, and virtually from that date he had become 
bound with them in bonds to stay with them and be 
of them until the bitter end. His forecast was un- 
erring — events proved it. He took his wife and three 
eldest sons and a colored preacher into his plans and 
purposes and bound them all to secrecy as to the 
place of the inauguration of the epoch of liberty. His 
eldest son records that the first time he saw his 
father kneel to pray — he was a Presbyterian — was 
when he first vowed himself then and there to attack 
slavery by force. 

Hinton says John Brown equipped his brain as 
well as his conscience. He made himself familiar 
with military tactics and guerrilla methods, for he was 
a thinker as well as a believer in destiny. Kansas was 
to him a splendid opportunity for a demonstration of 
himself. It was here that he began to think and 
write, and none can measure the depths of his desire 
and doing. He resolved to make the Declaration of 
American Independence a verity and the constitution 
an instrument whereby to liberate and elevate a race. 
His matured plan was to form, by means of picked 
men, a line penetrating to the very heart of the South- 
land, to be held by adroit and persuasive men who 
should receive, protect and pass on to safety all 
slave-fugitives, and thus create a mobilized force. 
The specifications of the plan are too great to be given 
in detail here. 

This plan, though miscarrying at Harper's Ferry, 
showed consummate skill and remarkable geographi- 
cal knowledge of the Southern states and the fast- 
nesses thereof, covering the whole land like a vast 
net-work. And if once those meshes had been drawn, 


the hundreds of thousands of lives lost and the hun- 
dreds of millions of dollars spent in civil war would 
have been saved and John Brown's soul in it's ''march- 
ing on" would have lead the brothers in black from 
slavery to freedom through a bloodless victory. There 
would then have been no confederacy nor a semblance 
of war against the Union. His chain of mountain 
forts and defiles and draws, as a means of communica- 
tion along the great divides and slopes of southern 
mountains, would have done honor to Napoleon's 
best civil engineer corps. He has been pronounced 
insane by men whose conception could never by any 
chance rise to the compass of such a scheme as was 
his. No general of the age showed such thorough- 
ness of topographical knowledge of his territory as 
did John Brown, and few have showed engineering 
skill of such scope and ability. He sincerely believed 
that the slave power was designed to cripple and de- 
stroy the Republic, and he as sincerely hoped to abol- 
ish that power, root and branch, by aiding the slaves 
to secure their freedom. He lived under this pro- 
found conviction as under a guiding star and acted 
under the light of it. There was nothing in his Puri- 
tan nature that could by any possibility compromise 
with what he intelligently conceived to be an evil op- 
pressive to humanity. To him that crime against lib- 
erty, as enacted in the over-riding of eight hundred 
legally cast votes by four thousand invading Mis- 
sourians, whereby a citizen of Texas was elected as a 
delegate to Congress to represent Kansas, could not 
be condoned or palliated. 

Robbery, murder and arson had marked the, march 
of Buford, Titus and other commanders of the border 
ruffians who had invaded Kansas, while free-state men 


had come as came the Pilgrims from across the ocean, 
with wives and children, Bibles and hymn-books, 
school books and teachers — to establish a type of 
Christian civilization superior to any yet developed on 
the American continent. It was with this last named 
band that John Brown had become identified with all 
the zeal and enthusiasm of his rugged and devout 
nature. Struggling against mighty odds, this purpose- 
ful people had written on high their legend, "Resist- 
ance to Tyranny is Obedience to God." They resist- 
ed — and to what end the Pottawotamie Creek disaster 
to the pro-slavery men bore testimony of supremest 
force. This — always to be lamented — sanguinary en- 
counter by no means lessened the asperities between 
the pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces. The results 
of it have been censured and they have been com- 
mended, but they fixed upon this hero the significant 
sobriquet, "Osawotamie" Brown — he whose soul in 
poetry, history and song goes forever ''marching on." 
From that time he was an aggressive figure in free- 
state movements for the rescue of Kansas from the 
desires of the slave power. 

John Brown was conspicuously connected with the 
obtaining and colporteurage of the noted "Sharp's 
Rifles," known as ''Beecher's Bibles," and in his visits 
to Chicago, Buffalo and elsewhere he aided greatly in 
kindling a public sentiment in favor of free Kansas 
and the integrity of the Union. Anticipating the de- 
termined purpose of state's rights mer to dissolve the 
Union to make way for the extension of African slav- 
ery he fought zealously in the van-guard. 

Among his various supporters he counted upon the 
full confidence of that non-combative, peace-loving 
people, the Quakers, as the following incident will 
show: On one of his visits East he stopped in the 


Springdale Settlement in Iowa. A friend named 
Townsend kept a house significantly called 'Travel- 
er's Rest." Riding up to the door of this unpreten- 
tious hostelry on a very gaunt mule the spare, dust- 
begrimed, sun-burned traveler dismounted. ''Have 
you ever heard of John Brown, of Kansas?" was his 
question to the landlord. With no word of welcome, 
recognition or introduction, the landlord calmly took 
from his pocket a piece of chalk and lifting Brown's 
hat from a head covered with grizzled hair he drew 
a broad "X" on the hat and then turned him about 
to make two "X's" on his back. "Walk right in and 
make yourself at home," said the landlord then. And 
for the sake of the cause the faithful mule, as well as 
his owner, were gratuitously entertained. The Uni- 
tarians of New England, and the Congregationalists 
and Presbyterians, as well as all philanthropic people, 
were deeply interested in the mission in which John 
Brown was engaged and bade him a hearty "God 
Speed" from day to da}^. 

Finally, concentrating his attention upon Virginia 
as a starting point, Brown began assembling his 
chosen lieutenants at Harper's Ferry. On the i6th of 
October, 1859, they took possession of the United 
States arsenal. They then set about destroying tele- 
graph communications, captured a railroad train, and 
at last got into imperfect fortifications in the Erskine 
House. The grounds, the bridge and the entire town 
passed into their possession, their declaration being 
that they wanted only liberty. The stopping of the 
train was the one fatal blunder in the well-conceived 
plan, for its detention gave the passengers and train- 
men an opportunity to learn the situation and to 
spread the news to telegraph stations. All hope of 


secrecy was lost at once. On the morning of the 17th 
of October, 1859, the country from ocean to ocean 
was ablaze with flaming bulletins like these; 
'Tearful and Exciting Intelligence!" 
''Negro Insurrection at Harper's Ferry!" 
"Hundreds of Insurrectionists in Arms!" 
"Arsenal and Works Seized!' 
"The Leader, 'Osawatomie Brown,' of Kansas!" 
"Several Killed. Troops on the Way!" 
Such were the startling echoes which filled the air, 
were to be heard on the streets, discussed on the cars, 
in the papers and whizzed from every telegraph wire, 
The smouldering public sentiment, already kindled 
by dread and excitement, burst into flame at the name 
of "Osawatomie Brown" and Kansas. It was to the 
American people as the war cry of old, "The sword of 
the Lord and Gideon!" It was as the breaking of 
pitchers and the glowing of lamps and the clarion 
notes of bugles on the hill-tops in the midnight still- 
ness. "Negro insurrection;" "Led by Osawatomie 
Brown of Kansas." The words became a slogan of 
horror. I was in Baltimore that day— and such a day! 
When many of the great cutlasses provided by Brown 
were captured and brought to Baltimore the people 
went wild. Men's hearts failed them for fear. It was 
the beginning of the end, and the air was thick with 
direful prophecy. 

While the enormity of the crime of human slavery 
justified an expiation by blood it is but just to say 
of John Brown that his was not intended to be a 
bloody insurrection. He hoped for a vast uprising 
and a peaceable manumission. His methods proved 
unwise, inefficient and disastrous. He and his men 
were captured, though not without an effort at de- 
fence; some were killed in the struggle, among them 


Oliver Brown, one of the sons of the leader. ''Osa- 
watomie Brown" had undeniably committed an of- 
fence against the United States government by having 
taken forcible possession of the arsenal, and against 
the dignity of Virginia by occupying her soil with an 
armed force. What was to be the penalty? On the 
night of the i6th some of Brown's men had captured 
Colonel Washington. The Virginian had surrender- 
ed the "sword of Frederick the Great" and "the pistol 
of Lafayette" and he and his sons had then been 
marched to the ferry. Here the slain of the party 
had already aggregated ten. Brown, wounded and 
bleeding, was taken shortly afterward by United States 
marines and turned over to the state authorities. 
Tried by a Virginia court, he was found guilty of 
treason against the state and condemned to death by 

On the 2nd of December, 1859, ^^e execution took 
place at Charleston in the presence of thousands of 
people who had gathered to witness this first and last 
execution for "treason" on such grounds. Just be- 
fore his execution Brown wrote in a clear hand: "I, 
John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes 
of this guilty land will never be purged away but with 
blood. I had, as I now think vainly, flattered myself 
that without much bloodshed it might be done." 

When the body was laid to rest at North Elba, Wen- 
dell Phillips said of him, "Marvellous old man! His- 
tory will date Virginia's emancipation from Harper's 
Ferry. John Brown has loosened the roots of the slave 
system. He sleeps in the blessings of the crushed and 
the poor, and men believe more firmly in virtue now 
that such a man has lived." 

His body rests at North Elba, New York, 'neath 


the shadow of a great rock which Is made his monu- 
ment, but his record is on high. As Christ died to 
make men happy he died to make men free. His 
short-Hved movement crystalHzed and projected into 
tangible form the spirit of the "age. Even from the 
time the first Innocent blood baptized the fair soil of 
freedom's chosen battle-field, Kansas, the die was cast, 
the time chosen and the methods fixed by which the 
crime of crimes must be undone. And from that time 
until now the name of John Brown, Christian, patriot, 
liberator, has stood out broadly in the chronicles of 
our country's struggle for freedom. Brown's name, 
like that of James H. Lane of Lawrence, is so inter- 
woven with Kansas history and that history is so in- 
terwoven with the larger history of universal Ameri- 
can freedom that no discussion of either would be 
complete or just without giving to him the large meed 
of credit which rightfully is his for the part he played 
in starting the nation upon a vaster conception of its 
obligations to liberty and the individual.* 

•The summer of 1896 has seen the realization of a hope dear to the 
heart of the late Kate Field, its instigator, and to all those who take 
pleasure in the rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's. 
The John Brown Association, organized by Miss Field, and number- 
ing among its members some prominent New Yorkers, has purchased 
the John Brown farm and homestead and formally presented this 
historic property to the state with the agreement that the Common- 
wealth of New York shall defray the expenses of taking proper care 
of it. Upon the occasion of the presentation an appropriate monument 
was unveiled, situated near the old headstone marking John Brown's 




The fact of the existence of human slavery under 
the Aegis of American freedom is so monstrous an idea 
that if it were not history it would be unbelievable. 
But the fact admitted, with it was carried all the 
atrocities of this barbarism and from it developed all 
the theories of the Northern abolitionists, as well as 
the direct and stubborn antagonism of the earnest, 
unconquerable West. 

Every great epoch develops men of action, follow- 
ing close upon the sentimental and educational stages 
of reform. Thus we find Mr. Wesley declaring human 
slavery 'The sum of all villainies," and Garretson and 
Phillips thundering their anathemas and arousing the 
slumbering conscience of the American people, and 
the New England Emigrant Aid Society, with the 
Methodist itinerant force in the field, to help families 
obtain homes and keep the moral tone of society firm, 
and John Brown, of immortal fame, and Jim Lane, 
the brave Kansas defender and liberator, as leading 
actors in freedom's cause. 

James H. Lane was born at Lawrenceburgh, 
Indiana, June 22d, 1814. His environments were 
those of patriotic enthusiasm. The war of 1812, Jack- 
son's great exploits at New Orleans, and the exciting 
political campaigns which soon followed all afforded 
for the boy, the youth, the young man, intellectual and 
sentimental food which incorporated itself into the 



warp and woof of his life. He was a child of the 

He was of Scotch-Irish and Puritanic extraction, 
his father and mother, both of patriotic connection, 
numbering among their immediate relatives judges, 
lawyers, statesmen, patriots and honorable politicians. 
His father was the first speaker of the house in 
Indiana and afterwards a judge and member of con- 
gress. His mother was regarded one of the most de- 
vout and intelligent Christian v,'omen in Lawrence- 
burgh, an ornament to the ranks of Methodism in that 
great Methodist state. 

The son imbibed from the mother's teachings and 
example the highest reverence for religion and true 
Christian character. We have no doubt that in the 
development of character the co-mingling of influ- 
ences so sacred in home life with the attrition of po- 
litical surroundings, had large influence in forming 
the idiosyncracies of the man, which made Jim Lane 
the enigma he was and the historic character he is. 
His like cannot be found until another necessity Hke 
Kansas' border-rufiian warfare shall call him forth to 
lead in the contest for the right. I knew him inti- 
mately and long and well, and never knew a man who, 
when with good men and in refined surroundings, was 
so wholly and powerfully under the influence of 
mother's teachings. Her memory was a veritable 
presence; her example a perpetual admonition. In the 
company of politicians his Scotch-Irish pater-master 
pohtician's example led him, and he often fell into 
censurable mirthfulness and conversation; but his 
mother's name and life was ever before him in 
thoughtful mood, like a benediction. 

He was in partisan politics a democrat. When the' 
war occurred between Mexico and the United States 


he enlisted as a private, but was early made colonel of 
the regiment. He gallantly led his men through all 
the engagements up to the battle of Buena Vista, and 
here rallied the scattered regiment of Col. Bowles, and 
honorably commanded until the close of the war. He 
became lieutenant-governor of Indiana and elector at 
large, voting for Franklin Pierce for president, and 
was also a member of congress and voted with Doug- 
las for the Kansas-Nebraska bill. 

With such experience and honors he came to Kan- 
sas, arriving one bright April morning in 1855, and 
with jug in hand (not for liquor, for he was an abstain- 
er, but to get water), he walked into the free-state ham- 
let, now the historic city of Lawrence. Here he took 
up his abode, and wrought and fought, and was buried. 
He came a born, developed, firm son of democracy, 
but his high chivalric nature could not and would not 
approve the methods introduced by the vice-president 
of the United States, David Atchison, and his border- 
ruffians, to foist slavery upon the soil of Kansas, and 
also to fetter free-thought, suppress free-speech, and 
drive out of the territory the free-state men of the 
United States, who came from almost every state and 
territory in the Union, bonafide settlers, to secure 
homes for themselves and families. 

The first trial of the forces by count at the ballot- 
box occurred on November 29, 1854, and resulted as 
follows: Democrats 305, Anti-slavery 248, and Pro- 
slavery 2,258, for delegate to congress. On this day 
occurred the first homicide, when Davis, a pro-slavery 
man, assaulted unprovoked, Kibby, a free-state man. 
Davis was killed by Kibby in self defense. On March 
30, 1855, a regular invasion of ballot-box stufTers and 
repeaters from Missouri and other Southern states 


took place, when at Lawrence, Leavenworth, Kicka- 
poo, Atchison and elsewhere a pro-slavery legislature 
was chosen by the boldest and most wicked assault 
ever made on the ballot-box in the name of popular 
suffrage. Loyal men were disfranchised, border- 
rufifians were triumphant. They passed a code blacker 
than barbarity itself. 

In such an emergency free - state men needed 
a leader, and in Jim Lane they found one 
whose name was worth a thousand men, and whose 
bugle-blast became a terrifying tocsin to the enemies 
of freedom. Up to this date he had simply tried to 
organize the democracy, but now his lion-heart re- 
volted from the unprecedented crimes of the slave 
oligarchy. With such aggravations it were marvelous 
if the free-state citizens had felt no resentment. They 
were not freebooters, nor were they nor their neigh- 
bors thieves or adventurers, but a body of honorable 
men and women and children, home-seekers, who 
came to make the prairies bloom as the rose. To such 
the field of battle was the field of honor. They came 
to build churches, school-houses, mills, manufactories 
and cities. It is safe to say that there never was a 
better, more industrious, more law-abiding people in 
all respects than were the emigrants who came to Kan- 
sas from the non-slaveholding states. Their purpose, 
as the sequel shows, as the present demonstrates, was 
to establish a commonwealth in which education, re- 
ligion, patriotism and righteousness could have their 
best opportunity and their highest development. 

The ''Grim Chieftain" combined in himself all the 
elements of fiery oratory and magnetism, being pos- 
sessed of a ready flow of forceful language, a vocabu- 
lary redundant in expressive adjectives. He charmed 
his admirers, terrified his opponents, comforted the 


discouraged, fired with zeal those whose impulsive na- 
tures flamed with freedom's fires, so that every assem- 
bly he addressed was thrilled and swayed by a master 
hand, and even his avowed foes became his admiring 
friends. In his first alignment with the free-state 
men, which was looked upon by some New England- 
ers as rather dubious, he gave utterance to words that 
would honor the head and heart of a solon. In the 
''Herald of Freedom," for August i8th, 1855, he is 
quoted as follows: "If I believed a prayer from me 
for you would do any good it would be that you might 
be endowed with the wisdom of Solomon, the caution 
of Washington and the justice of Franklin. It requires 
wisdom, it requires manhood, to restrain passion. I 
say, as a citizen of Kansas, I wish we had wisdom 
to-day. There is the existence of a nation hanging 
upon the action of the citizens of Kansas. Modera- 
tion, Moderation, Moderation, Gentlemen! ! I am 
here, as anxious as any of you, to secure a free con- 
stitution to Kansas." 

There was no small contention on the question of 
excluding all black people from the state, both slaves 
and free. Some declared that if blacks settled in Kan- 
sas they would prefer that they should be slaves. Some 
Western states had these exclusive laws. Lane was at 
first a black-law man. This gave him prestige with 
Western free-state men. 

But he discovered very early that such a clause in 
the proposed constitution would lose all the sympathy 
and influence of such men as Giddings, Sumner, 
Wade, Wilson, Stevens, Seward, Grow, and Chase. 
He gave up his exclusive views, and became a giant, 
armed cap-a-pie in freedom's camp for all men, with- 
out reference to color, race, or previous condition. He 


became a member of the constitutional convention, 
and was sent to Washington with the constitution. 

Senator Douglas accused him of forgery, in having 
struck out the black-law clause. Lane promptly chal- 
lenged him to deadly combat, but Douglas declined 
the challenge because Lane was not his peer, not 
being a senator. 

He used to say, "Douglas has carefully put away 
a challenge which he declined because I was not a 
senator. You owe it alike to yourselves and me to put 
me where I can make him fish up that paper." Later 
Lane was elected senator and he and Douglas became 
fast friends, and perhaps no senator felt more keenly 
the loss of a great actor in the national crisis which 
resulted in making Kansas free, precipitating an al- 
ready determined rebellion and determining the eman- 
cipation of the slave, than Lane felt at the death of 
Douglas. The war had made them friends to be sep- 
arated only by death. 

The murder of Charles W. Dow by F. M. Coleman 
was followed by the pro-slavery invaders' arresting 
Dow's neighbor, one Branson, to prevent him from 
being a witness against Coleman, who thus went free. 
This deplorable event was quickly followed by the 
Wakarusa war. Invasion, murder, arson, and out- 
rages called for resistance and defense. Here was a 
new chance for the appearance of conflicting jealous- 
ies, even among free-state men. The New England 
men had their preferences, and the Western men were 
suspected of lack of radicalism. Especially were 
Southern anti-slavery men distrusted as not sufficient- 
ly Puritanical. 

Dr. Charles Robinson, afterward Governor, was 
commander-in-chief of the anti-slavery men dur- 


ing this war and Jim Lane, who was the best equipped 
by experience, drill, courage and skill in military af- 
fairs was second in command. Like a true soldier he 
did his duty well and faithfully. He accepted his sub- 
ordinate rank as other great souls have done and at 
once began drilling and organizing the troops. 

His energy was unflagging, his presence an inspira- 
tion everywhere. The free-state forces were less than 
half the number of the invading enemy. Breastworks 
and rifle-pits were speedily constructed in regular 
military style under Lane's supervision, so that the 
fortifications and earthworks could have resisted an 
invading force four times the strength mustered by 
the invading border-rufftans. Every man did his part 
well, and the name of Jim Lane was now, as ever after- 
ward, a terror to his enemies. As he reviewed the 
troops and works nearly completed he commended 
them, at the same time cautioning against rashness, 
alarm or surprise. His were magical w^ords; they 
nerved every arm, and fired every breast with courage. 
He was not alone in words of encouragement during 
the siege. Jimmie McGee, an old Irishman, came and 
said, ''Work away, boys, be-dad; there's 2,000 bushels 
of corn in McGee's crib, and you shan't starve as long 
as there is a kernel left!" To indicate the spirit of 
the times, two brave boys brought a howitzer to 
Lane's camp and two loyal women brought kegs of 
powder under a buggy seat to aid in defense of their 

On the 29th of December, 1855, Gov. Shannon pro- 
claimed internecine war. Lane hastened to Lawrence 
and wrote to friends to hurry up the ''baggage," mean- 
ing munitions of war, and the conflict thus and then 
commenced did not cease until the slaves were eman- 


cipated and Lee had surrendered to the "Silent Man 
of Destiny." 

Lane's management of local affairs won the ap- 
proval of all the free-state men, and the invading ruf- 
fians were compelled to leave the territory, while the 
Wakarusa war was the initiation of a victory for free- 
dom. Even Shannon, though backed by United 
States authority, was compelled to admit that the men 
whom he had called into action were an invading force. 
All this while Lane scrupulously avoided conflict with 
United States laws, and the governor issued an order 
that Lane's men should defend the town, the people 
and their lives and property. Very soon after receiv- 
ing such order Lane called his force into line and ad- 
dressing the motley company as ''United States 
dragoons," ordered them to hold themselves in readi- 
ness for action. The invaders made a mad rush for 
the Missouri line, and thus the Wakarusa war was 
ended, with Lane as the idol of the free-state 

Lane's utterances on disbanding the brave defend- 
ers of home and freedom were words of wisdom and 
patriotism which still ring down the aisles of freedom's 
history. His greatest speech was afterwards delivered 
in Chicago, and struck a popular chord which pro- 
duced a national crisis. Itwas only realized when in the 
national republican convention in which Mr. Lincoln 
was renominated; it was then seen that a master-hand 
had planned that result. There was great dissatisfac- 
tion and unrest throughout the country, and a contest 
which boded no good for the Union cause was immi- 
nent. But in the grand council of the Union League 
the evening before the convention, after many able 
speeches favoring other candidates had been made, 


Mr. Lane arose and made the political speech of his 
life, carrying the League with him almost to a man. 
In the closing of his speech he said: 'We shall to- 
gether be watched in breathless listening by all this 
country — by all the civilized world — and if we seem 
to waver as to our set purpose we destroy hope, and 
if we permit private feeling to break forth into dis- 
cussion we discuss defeat, and if we nominate any 
other man than Abraham Lincoln we nominate ruin. 
Gentlemen of the Union League, I have done." The 
next day Mr. Lincoln was nominated on the first bal- 
lot. The grim chieftain had won his cause and ruin 
was averted. 

Hon. John Speer has truly said of Lane: "To the 
experience, skill and perseverance of the gallant Gen. 
James H. Lane all credit is due for the thorough dis- 
cipline of our forces, and the complete and extensive 
preparations for defense. His services cannot be over- 
estimated. Kansas can never forget them." 

In 1861 I was stationed in Lawrence. Gen. Lane 
had recently professed conversion at a camp-meeting 
near Palmyra. He and Col. H. P. Johnson, a local 
preacher, and Capt. McLean attended church one 
evening in Lawrence. Lane related his recent ex- 
perience, and Johnson spoke after Lane. All three 
had served in the Mexican war, and both referred to 
their army life. McLean, who was evidently under 
the influence of liquor, arose and said: "Yes — hie! — 
Lane and Johnson-: — hie! — were good — hie! — soldiers, 
and fought — hie! — and bled and died — hie! — and I 
was there too — hie! — and I fought — hie! — and bled — ■ 
and died, nary a time — hie! — and this — hie! — is the 
first — hie! — time I've — hie! — said anything about it- 
hie!" With this Johnston helped him to a seat, and 


we sang a verse or two of "Come, ye sinners," to avoid 
a scene. 

Soon after this the rebels fired on Fort Sumter 
and invested Washington. Lane and the Kansas men 
who were in Washington offered their services to Mr. 
Lincoln, and were bivouacked one hundred and eighty 
strong in the East Room, by concurrence of Gen. 
Hunter and the Secretary of War. At midnight Mr. 
Stanton and President Lincoln, arm in arm, walked 
into the camp in the White House, guarded by Lane 
and his Kansas heroes, who thus thwarted a well de- 
vised plan to kidnap the president and secretary. 

President Buchanan, in 1857, had in his message to 
congress said, 'The people of Kansas are in rebellion 
against the government with a military leader of most 
turbulent and dangerous character at their head." In 
reply Gen. Lane said: "I venture the assertion that 
the message stands without a parallel in its falsifica- 
iton of history. Never have the people of Kansas been 
in arms, except to resist invasion from other states. 
When the territory was occupied by four distinct 
armies from foreign states, laying waste the coun- 
try and avowing to exterminate the people of Kansas, 
before resisting them we called upon the territorial au- 
thorities and the commandant of the United States 
troops for protection. Let Buchanan howl and con- 
gress enact! Kansas is free, and all the powers of the 
earth cannot enslave her! To-day the people of Kan- 
sas are a unit, and so long as that unity is preserved, 
nothing can prevail against her." War existed. Civil 
rights were secured at the cost of precious lives, and 
equality before the law was made a verity for the first 
time in history of Kansas, long before the first gun 
was fired on Fort Sumter. And the ''Grim Chieftain" 


had much to do in thus immortaUzing Kansas. The 
war thus inaugurated closed only with Sherman's 
march to the sea and Grant's acceptance of Lee's sur- 
render at Appomattox. 

Lane was authorized in 1861, by the President and 
Secretary Stanton, though then a United States sena- 
tor, to raise troops on the frontier to protect Kansas 
from invasion. The company remained on duty until 
the danger of kidnaping the President was over. 
Senator Lane sent a squad to capture Robert E. Lee, 
but he had left for Richmond before Hon. Charles H. 
Holmes and his squad reached Arlington. What un- 
told slaughter of human life would have been averted 
had his plan not miscarried no human pen can de- 
scribe or tongue proclaim. 

In accordance with instructions referred to Senator 
Lane came home through Missouri incognito, and 
immediately organized the Third, Fourth and Fifth 
Kansas Volunteers, appointing Col. Montgomery to 
the command of the Third, Col. Wear to the Fourth, 
and Col. H. P. Johnson to command the Fifth, a cav- 
alry regiment. I was made chaplain of the Pifth regi- 
ment, and we were immediately ordered on forced 
march to Fort Scott to protect valuable quartermaster 
stores and ammunition, stored for the army of the 
frontier. The militia were called to concentrate at 
Ft. Scott. When we arrived there were about 4,000 
men, all told, poorly armed, and very poorly mounted; 
with no cannon, only one howitzer, and a small Rod- 
man gun. Lane sent two women over the line to re- 
port to the rebel army approaching, 18,000 strong, un- 
der command of Gens. Price, Raines and Slack, that 
there were 40,000 Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas troops, 
armed and equipped, in and around Fort Scott, under 


command of Gen. Jim Lane, awaiting their arrival and 
ready to receive them. The rebel army came to the 
line at Dry Wood and formed in battle array. Lane 
sent Montgomery, Wear and Johnson, with 380 men, 
and Capt. Moonlight with the howitzer, to meet the 
enemy's main force of 13,000 men, flushed with the 
victory they had won at Wilson Creek over Gens. 
Lyon and Sigel. They were to be reinforced by 
Gen. Slack. Moonlight planted his howitzer on a 
commanding Kansas knob. The Kansas boys dis- 
mounted and with Sharp's rifles in hand crept up 
through the tall prairie-grass and hazel-brush within 
convenient reach of the rebel force. Moonlight opened 
fire, and his first shell burst in the midst of Capt. Bled- 
soe's splendid battery of field guns, wounding the cap- 
tain, killing three gunners, upsetting two of his guns, 
and wounding several others of his men. Lane's men 
turned loose their Sharp's rifles, and in a few minutes 
seventy-two rebels lay dead and many others wounded. 
The rebels overshot Lane's troops and they had but 
one wounded. The presence of less than 400 men in 
action soon became to the enemy the mysterious 
40,000 — and Jim Lane in command! Gen. Slack was 
hastily brought up with his splendid force to sustain 
Price and Raines, but found them in full retreat. In 
his official report to Calib Jackson, governor of Mis- 
souri, he says that when he came upon the field to 
reinforce Price and Raines he found them and their 
very efficient army under rapid retreat on the verge of 
a general stampede, in the presence of a greatly su- 
perior force under command of Gen. Jas. H. Lane. 

Lane's name was worth a thousand men, his multi- 
plication table answered instead of numbers; and 380 
Kansans, inspired by patriotism and their intrepid 
leader's presence, put 18,000 men to flight, saved Kan- 


sas from invasion, and hundreds of thousands of dol- 
lars worth worth of army stores. 

Gen. Lane moved his command to Kansas City to 
prevent Gens. Price, Raines and Slack from advanc- 
ing on Fort Leavenworth. They attacked Lexington, 
Mo., captured Col. Mulligan and his command, and 
then started to retreat and attack Gen. Fremont at 
Springfield. Lane ordered an advance to support 
Freemont. When we reached Osceola the enemy had 
burned the town and destroyed the ferry boat on the 
Osage River. The water was up, and nothing was 
left but an old abandoned scow, within 40 miles, on 
which to cross. Not an officer in the command would 
undertake to cross the command on that old boat. 
Lane called upon me to help him out of his dilemna. 
By my request he detailed six men from each com- 
pany, and with these we beached the old boat, calked 
her seams with old clothes, nailed fence boards on the 
cracks to keep the calking in place, and put six men 
to work with battery buckets, to bail the water out. 
With hearty good will the men obeyed my directions 
and followed my example while the other chaplains 
and officers sat on the bank and watched us ferry the 
command safely over the river. 

In due time we reached Springfield, and went into 
camp to await orders to march and meet the rebel 
forces under McCullough, Gen. Fremont was in com- 
m.and when we arrived, but was soon superseded by 
Gen. Hunter. Here transpired under my own ob- 
servation two of the most trying ordeals of nerve I 
ever witnessed. Several trained and experienced 
French soldiers, fine looking fellows, came to 
America with Fremont. Some of them were attached 


to Lane's staff. It was Sabbath morning. Gen. Lane 
had sent for me. I reported at headquarters, and the 
general said he wished me to preach to the brigade 
and visitors, as many would be over to camp by ii 
o'clock. While we were talking, in came the French 
officers, in a high state of excitement. Gen. Fremont 
had been removed and their anger was unbounded. 
They laid down their arms on the table and said they 
were going to leave the camp and return to Paris at 
once. They stood pale with rage. Lane sprang to 
his feet like a lion. He seemed taller than ever before. 
Seizing a revolver in each hand, he said: ''You shan't 
resign. It is the order of the Secretary of War. We 
must obey. You will disgrace yourselves, dishonor 
France, and disgust the army." And fairly foaming 
with rage he stalked up to the men, and with uplifted 
revolvers, said, hissing it out: "By the eternal, I'll 
kill you both before you shall disgrace yourselves. Go 
back to your tents and remain until Gen. Fremont 
goes east, and like true soldiers remain with your su- 

In the afternoon review took place, and Gen. Fre- 
mont's staff came over. Gen. Lane reviewed the 
troops and put them through the manual of arms. 
One regiment was cavalry, another was mounted in- 
fantry, the rest infantry, so that the troops were not 
supposed to be well-drilled. But when Lane's com- 
mand rang along the line every man seemed to be elec- 
trified. When they heard his voice, "Ground arms!" 
every gun dropped as if by magic, and they awaited in 
breathless expectancy his next word of command. He 
glanced up and down the long line, and then called, 
"Shoulder arms!" Every gun leaped to its place so 
simultaneously that the visitors were filled with sur- 


prise, and though out of place, suppressed applause 
passed from lip to lip. I never saw automatic move- 
ment more perfect than that "Shoulder arms" under 
Jim Lane's inspiring command. 

Gen. Hunter assumed command, and immediately 
ordered the main army to St. Louis, while Lane's 
command, which never retreated, countermarched by 
way of Lamar to Kansas. The whole negro popula- 
tion of Missouri which had followed Fremont's march 
and Lane's brigade were shaken off by Gen. Hunter's 
army and took up their march with the Kansas troops, 
bound for Kansas and freedom. We, in turn, were 
followed by McCullough's army, beset on either hand 
by Coffee's and other noted guerrilla bands, and liable 
to be attacked at any hour. The second day out Lane 
sent for me on the march, and explaining our immi- 
nent danger of attack and the helpless condition of 
the great multitude of blacks, said : "What shall I do 
with them?" I replied that all the men were in the 
army, and the women and children in Kansas needed 
help to save the crop and provide fuel for winter, and 
I advised to send the negroes to Kansas to help the 
women and children. His laconic reply was, "I'll do 
it." When we went into camp he issued an order that 
all the refugees and blacks should meet on the parade 
ground next morning at 8 o'clock, ready to go to Kan- 
sas; and his first order was, "Chaplains Fisher, Moore 
and Fish will take charge of these people, escort them 
to Kansas, divide their property among them as best 
they can, find homes for them, and report to head- 

Jim Lane was a striking character. Without him 
Kansas would not likely have become what she is. 
He was a leader of men. His long strain of excitement, 


with perhaps inherited suicidal tendency, and his ex- 
treme sensitiveness to criticism on defeat, at last broke 
his indomitable energy and will, and in an unfortunate 
desire to control presidential patronage he found him- 
self as United States Senator supporting the president, 
Andrew Johnson, in his opposition to Mr. Sumner's 
civil rights bill, thus antagonising the very sentiment 
which in Kansas gave him such victories and honors. 

When he awoke to see the fatal blunder he had 
committed he became despondent, a spell of illness 
ensued, his mind gave way, and while out driving at 
Fort Leavenworth, where he had sought rest and 
treatment, he stepped behind the ambulance and plac- 
ing a pistol in his mouth sent a bullet crashing 
through his brain. Though fatally wounded he re- 
gained consciousness and at times was able to recog- 
nize his particular friends and members of his family. 
I was called by telegram to his dying bed and as he 
took my hand in his and placed it upon the site of his 
wound he said plaintively, "Bad, Bad," and soon after- 
ward died. The spirit of a leader, a man who had 
never known defeat at the hands of others, had been 
ushered before his maker by his own hand while smart- 
ing under the sting of political defeat wrought by an 
error in judgment. In times of war and strife a giant, 
in times of peace and politics he was but mortal. 

The most trying ordeal of my ministerial life was 
thrown upon me by his death. I was called upon to 
preach the funeral sermon in Lawrence on the Sunday 
following his demise. There were present men who had 
carried a rope to hang him on account of the early 
tragedy which had resulted in the death of Jenkins, 
and there were present men who had stood watch the 
livelong night to prevent his mobbing; there were men 
who were with him during the border-ruffian war and 


during the war of the rebelhon and who had become 
a part of him, and there were men who were against 
him in spirit during those trying times and who had 
often secretly wished for his removal. There were 
present neighbors, friends, family, foes political and 
foes personal — all testifying to the greatness of the 
man and to the wonderful works he had done for Kan- 
sas and the Union. Many of those present knew his 
virtues, which were many, and others knew his faults, 
which were pronounced though few. 

How to preach the truth and yet vindicate the gos- 
pel was a question. The text chosen was ''God is 
love." I believed then and believe now that in his 
partially conscious moments, after he had accom- 
plished what all the demons of hell composing the 
guerrilla army of the border had failed to accomplish 
though often tried, before he breathed his last expir- 
ing breath the teachings of his sainted mother and her 
prayers, which had exampled him unto her Savior and 
the Savior of sinners, took hold upon him and, repent- 
ing of his sins, he died believing in the Savior of all 
mankind. I have always had hope that. through the 
saving grace of the Master Jim Lane is saved, saved 
for the good he has done for the cause of freedom 
and humanity. 

His life was a life of ambitions, successes, triumphs 
— and one grave failure. 




The colonial families and their immediate descend- 
ants felt the need of and believed in common school 
education, and early provided for the schooling of all 
children. They not only planted Yale, Cambridge, 
Williams, Brown, Johns Hopkins and other great uni- 
versities, but planned a common school system which 
to-day meets the exigencies of the present advanced 
state of education and civilization. 

Within the last fifty years there has been a revival 
of popular education, beginning with the labors of 
Horace Alann, in every Northern state. Improved 
methods and an enormous growth of moral, intellec- 
tual and industrial agencies have marked a new era 
in both hemispheres. The Year of Our Lord 1897 
has beholden in Kansas half a million children 
and youths daily responding to the chime of the 
school-house bell, with joyous step, bright and cheer- 
ful countenance and an ever increasing thirst for in- 
struction from her thousands of w^ll qualified teach- 
ers. For the accompHshment of this great work will- 
ing taxpayers (except an occasional, grumbling old 
bachelor "without pride of ancestry or hope of pos- 
terity") and whole-souled philanthropists have invest- 
ed three hundred and fifty millions of dollars in school 
property, and pay annually one hundred and fifty 
milHons of dollars for the maintenance of these 
schools. The southern states, since Kansas repelled 


invasion and set the mark of equality before the law 
and made common education the inheritance of all, 
have kindly and enthusiastically taken to the common 
school system, and in this good year of their opening 
prosperity have expended two millions of dollars for 
the children and youths of all races in her borders, 
that they, too, may enjoy the advantages of the com- 
mon school. Her eight millions of colored popula- 
tion, who by law were debarred from education when 
Kansas cast her determining influence for freedom, 
now enjoy with their white brothers the opportunities 
of an education. 

The matters of deepest concern to the free-state 
families coming to Kansas in her early history were 
school and church facilities. These were of paramount 
importance, and from the beginning the greatest in- 
terest w^as taken in schools, academies and universi- 
ties. Many of these ventures had precarious lives; 
others struggled through weary years of poverty and 
discouragement, and while many noble young men 
and women were consumed by the desire for an edu- 
cation, yet because of reverses incident to settling a 
new state under such disadvantages and the poverty 
entailed by a long and expensive removal from older 
communities, they were unable to attend unendowed 
schools, many of which were literally starving their 
agents and professors because of inadequate salaries. 

It is a serious question whether later-comers can 
have adequate conception of the struggle through 
which we passed to plant the standard of free and 
higher education. Mercenary men have censured the 
early efforts to build and maintain our schools because 
it cost something, and others have censured the noble 
men wdio early planned so wisely because they did not 
wait until the state became rich. But even in terri- 


torial times, while the sky was lurid with war and 
famine was staring them in the face the people pro- 
vided for the intellectual and moral culture of their 
children, willing, if need be, to stint their bodies rather 
than dwarf the minds and souls of the coming genera- 
tion. School houses were erected to accommodate 
the church of the neighborhood as well as the school. 
The chapels of some of the best colleges in the state 
were made to answer a double purpose, and became 
citadels of scientific, moral and religious truth, while 
every pulpit was a rock of defense for the liberties and 
education of the people. When the constitution was 
adopted Kansas incorporated the best educational sys- 
tem known to Europe and America, and from small 
beginnings her school interests have grown until they 
now stand at the head of the column. 

Among the earliest educational institutions of the 
territory was Blue Mont College, located at Manhat- 
tan and built by Methodist money and enterprise. 
This became a successful school under the presidency 
of Joseph Denison, D. D., and the agency of Pro- 
fessor Isaac T. Goodnow. Finally Congress gave to 
Kansas a large grant of the pubHc domain for agricul- 
tural educational purposes, conditionally; the state 
being unable to comply with the conditions, and rath- 
er than that the grant should revert from the state, 
the Methodists magnanimously donated their college 
buildings, apparatus, furniture, students, president, 
etc., to the state, thus securing the land grant, with the 
result that our agricultural college stands second to 
none in the nation. 

From those grass roots of Kansas, now thirty-five 
years old, there has grown and developed a state 
school system which numbers nine thousand three 


hundred and thirty-four school-houses with eleven 
thousand four hundred and ninety-six school-rooms, 
employing eleven thousand nine hundred and three 
well qualified teachers, with an enrollment of three 
hundred and ninety-three thousand eight hundred and 
forty pupils between five and twenty-one years of age. 
The average salary of teachers per month is $43.91, 
with an average term of twenty-five weeks. The esti- 
mated value of school property, buildings and grounds 
is $11,193,396. There are one state superintendent 
and one hundred and five county superintendents who 
make nine thousand five hundred and fifteen visits to 
the schools during the year. There are eight thousand 
seven hundred and ninety-nine districts that sustain 
school at least three months in the year, and but three 
hundred and seventy-five that do not sustain them 
that long. The school system is a very satisfactory 
one, and the results are in almost every district ex- 
ceedingly gratifying. 

The qualification of our young people for public 
service is seen in the fact that every department of 
business activity is being well supplied therefrom. In 
December of last year while I was in the capital of the 
nation I was requested by Rev. A. B. Leonard, Sec- 
retary of the Missionary Society of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, to make a missionary address to a 
large audience in Waugh Methodist Church, on Home 
Mission Work. I complied, and in the course of my 
remarks referred to the fact that the greatest solicitude 
I had felt in moving to Kansas was the apparent priva- 
tion my boys would experience in getting an educa- 
tion. After describing what the Church had accom- 
plished in extending the Kingdom of Christ by the 
aid of the Home Missionary Society I referred to the 
planting of schools, their growth and development, 


especially as exhibited in the educational department 
of the Columbian Exposition at Chicago, where, on a 
great map, with lines like those on a field cliart, were 
shown the rise and progress of common education. 
Beginning in Massachusetts, crossing westward with 
varied depressions and upward inflections of the Hues, 
the rise was so perceptible that when the stream of 
educational influence touched Kansas it almost 
reached the highest line on the map, showing that 
Kansas stood at the head of the procession. When 1 
saw this I called my wife, who is sharer of all my toils, 
privations and joys and said to her, "Kansas leads the 
Nation ! If I were not afraid of being arrested I would 
shout." At the close of the meeting a large number 
of persons came forward and congratulated me on the 
growth of Kansas, among them the chairman of the 
sub-committee on civil service examination, who, in 
the presence of a number of gentlemen, thanked me, 
saying my remarks about educational matters had 
given him the key to an explanation which had long 
been lacking in his committee room; for it had been 
observable for four or five years past that the best 
prepared papers presented for examination by appli- 
cants for positions in the various departments were al- 
most invariably from Kansas. So marked was this 
that whenever a paper showing thoroughness of prep- 
aration came before them they were disposed to say, 
"Here is another application from a Kansan." "Now," 
said he, "I understand the matter perfectly, and your 
people are to he congratulated upon their successful 
educational advantages." 

Seventeen church denominations have organized 
seminaries, colleges or universities, some of these more 
than one of such school of higher grade, and there is 


one, ''Campbell University," undenominational. The 
Methodist Episcopal Church, always and everywhere 
the friend of education, founded the first schools for 
the higher instruction in the territory. Baker Univer- 
sity was chartered in 1858 and opened her halls for 
the reception of students the same year;" since which 
time through border strife, drought, grasshopper 
raids, poverty and civil war, class recitations in regular 
terms have never been suspended for a single school 
day. From the first president, Rev. Dr. W. R. Davis,and 
his devoted faculty to the present Baker University 
has been blessed with as competent and self-sacrificing 
a class of professors and instructors as ever attempted 
the developing and upbuilding of an educational in- 
stitution in America, and since she graduated her first 
class in the state has maintained a front rank among 
the institutions of Kansas. She has had a hard strug- 
gle, but has passed the crucial period and won the 
right to live — as well as having demonstrated her prov- 
idential mission. Her work has been well and suc- 
cessfully begun and must not fail for want of funds or 
students. The church and state can well afiford to 
cherish and maintain this first and high-grade univer- 
sity. From the beginning the scholarship and curric- 
ulum of this school were on a par with the older 
schools of the East ; so that students who went East to 
complete their courses of studies matriculated ahead 
of their home classes. The moral and religious in- 
fluences of Baker have always been of the highest or- 
der and are among her greatest agencies and causes 
of commendation. 

Blue Mont College (referred to as the State Agri- 
cultural College) was the next in order of the Metho- 
dist Colleges, and as such aid noble work until trans- 
ferred, when it took a wider sweep in scientific 


studies of climate, soil, seeds, trees, animals and all 
husbandry and agriculture, with but a limited range 
in the classics. 

A school under the quasi-patronage of the Metho- 
dist Church was started at Circleville, Jackson County, 
but had a precarious life and finally succumbed to the 
pressure of poverty and died an honorable death, her 
memory still living because of the good she did. 

Southwest Kansas College was founded at Winfield 
in 1885, opened for the reception of students in 1886, 
and has associated with its curriculum a Young Men's 
Christian Association and other Christian agencies, 
which make it not only a center of classical attain- 
ments but also of broad, philanthropic culture and 
equipment. The Kansas Wesleyan University, located 
at Salina, was founded in 1886, and is in all respects 
a counterpart of the Southwest College, with very 
nearly identical purposes, courses of study and addenda. 
The work these are doing is being well and faithfully 
done. These two properties are valued at $172,000, 
thus making an aggregate value of the three college 
properties under Methodist control of $270,000, be- 
sides their endowments. These are large and encour- 
aging, but not enough. A Central enterprise at To- 
peka suddenly suspended (with a foundation worth 
$30,000) when the cyclone of contraction took place 
because of the ^'bursting of the boom." 

Critics have severely deprecated the multiplying of 
schools; I never have. I believe there should be ten 
thousand young Methodist people crowding the halls 
of learning, preparing for more active and useful lives 
in the cause of humanity. I never did and do not now 
believe in an aristocracy, either in the commercial or 
monetary world, much less in the educational field. 
It should be the ambition of every parent to help his 


posterity to the best equipment for a life of usefulness, 
and the church does well to provide liberally for the 
education of her children under her own thoroughly 
equipped faculties and Christian agencies. 




The Methodist Episcopal Church, always a pioneer 
of evangehsm, was first to enter the door of occupancy 
of the sacred territory of Kansas. Among the ad- 
vance guards were such men as Abraham Still, W. H. 
Goode, J. S. Griffing, L. B. Dennis and B. F. Bowman. 
The Kansas and Nebraska Conference was organized 
in a large tent in Lawrence, the historic city, by 
Bishop Osman C. Baker, on Thursday, October 2^, 
A. D., 1856, the session closing on Saturday, the 25th, 
showing a ministerial force of twenty members and 
two probationers. These, with five supplies, were ex- 
pected to occupy Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and 
New Mexico, with the Indian Territory. Within 
these vast bounds there were nine hundred and ninety- 
six (996) members and one hundred and eight (108) 
probationers, with twenty (20) Sunday Schools, hav- 
ing one thousand five hundred and eighty-two (1,582) 
teachers, officers and scholars, with but five (5) meet- 
ing houses in all that empire, and these but shanties. 
These ministers and their wives were the advance 
guard of God's chosen servants, who endured hard- 
ships as good soldiers of the cross, as seeing Him 
who is invisible and His victories. The history of the 
struggle of church building and organizing would 
make a volume, and in all this work the preachers and 
their famiHes bore the heaviest part of the burden. 

The growth in church membership and Sunday 


School, church property and accommodations, fol- 
lowing within forty years on such territory and under 
such conditions, including two great upheavals, re- 
sulting in bloody strife lasting nearly as long as the 
revolutionary war, coupled with wild speculation and 
gold panics, is truly phenomenal. The results are les- 
son-fraught with lasting interest, showing a self-deny- 
ing spirit, a heroism unexcelled by any aggressive 
army of itinerants — like the angel of the Apocalypse 
flying through the air, having the everlasting gospel 
to preach to the inhabitants of the earth — and a won- 
derful responsiveness of the people in answering to 
the call to organize and establish the opportunities of 
church association for themselves, their families, and 
their neighbors. For the churches of the state are the 
bulwarks of the civil, religious, moral and educational 
liberties of the people, and wonderfully promotive of 
civil peace, financial success, intellectual culture and the 
highest and best of religious life and joy. 

The number of those early churchmen who have 
come and gone is by far the larger list. Only two of 
the charter members of the conference remain in the 
Kansas conference. Rev. Joseph Denison, D. D., and 
B. F. Bowman. Now Kansas alone has four (4) an- 
nual conferences, which have just stationed nearly four 
hundred and seventy (470) preachers and thirty (30) 
probationers, with over one thousand (1,000) stations 
and circuits to be supplied by them. She has ninety- 
five thousand, eight hundred (95,800) full members 
and one thousand, five hundred (1,500) probationers. 
Her Sunday School army under the loyal banner of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church alone numbers 
eighteen thousand (18,000) officers and teachers with 
over one ' hundred thousand (100,000) pupils. In 


Nebraska there are four (4) annual confer- 
ences and forty-five thousand (45,000) communi- 
cants; in Colorado one conference and twelve 
thousand (12,000) members; in Oklahoma one 
conference and fifteen thousand (15,000) mem- 
bers, and in New Mexico a mission with two 
hundred and fifty (250) members. In these, at 
a reasonable estimate, are eight hundred and 
fifty (850) preachers with one hundred thou- 
sand and forty-five (100,045) rnembers loyal to 
the flag that made us free, to the American 
Sabbath, the Bible and common school edu- 
cation for all the people. The valuation of church 
property within our organic lines amounts to the 
enormous sum of $5,170,000, and our churches have a 
seating capacity for one hundred thousand people. 

It is a question of gravest importance whether the 
multiplication of distinct denominations has not se- 
riously and censurably hindered the spread and in- 
fluence of Christianity in Kansas; and it appears rea- 
sonable that all those denominations of like religious 
faith and church discipline and pi^^ty should at the 
earliest possible date so unite as to make all the avail- 
able influences and conveniences for church work and 
evangelical success more potent for good, as well as 
less burdensome. There are seventy-nine of these 
varying denominations, and yet these may be traced in 
first analysis to four or five great cardinal doctrines. 
These denominations are reported as numbering three 
hundred and fifty thousand communicants, and a great 
army of pastors. 

If all these were united in a spirit of broad, univer- 
sal evangelism what a mighty host it would be! 

56 I AM BORN. 


" I AM BORN. ' 

I, Hugh Dunn Fisher, was born in Steubenville, 
Jefferson county, Ohio, March 14, 1824. My father 
was Wilham Fisher, the son of John Christopher and 
EHzabeth Bratton Fisher. These grandparents were 
German, by a long hne of Teutonic extraction. Both 
were born in the land of Huss, were Lutheran prot- 
estants "from principle," and members of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church "of choice." Their children 
were all baptized according to the beautiful ritual of 
that Church. The family was a large one, most of the 
children living to a good old age. William, my father, 
was the third son and favorite brother, always regarded 
with that peculiar respect and courtesy that is the pride 
of a well-ordered German family in recognizing a be- 
loved parent or brother. He was born in Staunton, a 
beautiful little town on the South branch of the famous 
"Potomac" River in "East Virginia," on the 26th of 
March, 1793. 

In 1805 the family emigrated to what was then re- 
garded as the "Great Wilderness," as all that region 
west of the Alleghenies, and especially the Ohio Val- 
ley, was called. So rude and barbarous were the 
methods of emigration at that early day that they 
crossed the mountains on pack-saddles in company 
with a "salt train," no wagon roads being yet opened. 
The trail was so steep and rough and narrow in places 
that many times were they compelled to unburden 

I AM BORN. 57 

their laboring horses and assist them in the ascent of 
the mountains with ropes, carrying the goods and 
children to a place of rest where they could remount 
in safety to pursue their difficult and dangerous jour- 
ney. They were compelled to kindle fires at night to 
protect themselves from the wild beasts inhabiting the 
mountains. Not infrequently did they startle the bear, 
deer and w^olf from the dense thickets of flowering 
laurel and underbrush which skirted their crooked and 
rugged trail to the gateway of the West. When the 
family at last descended from the mountain the first 
settlement they came upon was a point near the pres- 
ent site of West Newton, Pennsylvania, where there 
was a village called Plump Sauk, then a miserable 
apology for a town, but a real frontier village, full of 
drunken and debauched men. After reaching the 
banks of the Youghiogheny River the family stopped 
and estabHshed the first pottery West of the Allegheny 

The following spring they descended the Yougheo- 
gheny River in a small family boat to its confluence 
with the Monongahela at the point now occupied by 
]\IcKeesport, a few miles above the noted place of 
Braddock's defeat, still called ''Braddock's Field." The 
history of Braddock's fall and Washington's bravery 
was fresh in the minds of the emigrant family and they 
felt no little anxiety in passing down the river in so 
unprotected a manner. They were compelled to row 
the boat with oarsmen hidden from view to keep the 
men from being picked ofif by the Indians, who ap- 
peared on the banks at several points and by signs and 
various devices sought to induce the emigrants to 
come near enough to be captured. But the men kept 
her well out into the stream and by careful watching 

68 1 AM BORN. 

and earnest rowing landed the family in safety after 
several days and nights at the site of Steubenville. 

^ ^: >!: ^ * ^ =i< 

There were but eight or ten houses in the village in 
that day, and these were principally built of logs. 
Among the rest there was a "block house," or kind 
of ancient citadel of defense, into which the settlers 
might gather in times of alarm and danger from the 
Indians. These alarms were frequent and the danger 
so great that much of the daily labor was performed 
with gun in hand, ready for an emergency. Several 
years later the Indians came into this settlement and 
carried away captive Daniel Pursley, a lad in his teens, 
and his playmate, Seth Bickerstaff, about his own age. 
The latter escaped through the superstition of the sav- 
ages, by the interposition of the Great Spirit, as they 
supposed. Young Pursley was retained in the tribe 
until he became a young man. The writer has often 
heard "Father Pursley," as he was later called, narrate 
the most thrilling incidents of his Indian slavery, his 
escape and conversion to God. As he would stand in 
the class room to relate his strange, wild experience, 
with uplifted hand and pointed finger he would shout 
in Indian style, "The Victory! The Victory!!" crying 
"Who-o-o, Who-o-o, Who-o-o, Who-o-o-pe!" until 
the class room would ring. He was indeed a shout- 
ing Methodist." 

Grandfather Fisher estabhshed a pottery in Steub- 
enville, but there being little demand for his wares it 
did not prove a success. Here he died, but the rest of 
the family remained together until death called a dear 
son named Joseph. The other sons and daughters be- 
came so permanently located as ever to remain within 
easy reach of each other, the last one dying in 1890. 

My father went to live with Barnard Lucas, a typical 

I AM BORN. 59 

Baltimorean Methodist. There were at this time eight 
or nine persons in Steubenville who had brought cer- 
tificates of membership in the Methodist cliurch to 
their Western home. These organized a class of which 
Mr. Lucas became leader. The Sabbath after the or- 
ganization my father, then a mere boy, gave his name 
as a probationer in the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
thus identifying himself for life with this then hated 
people. This step greatly exposed him to the perse- 
cution and hatred of wicked boys and men. He was 
often followed and stoned as he returned from evening 
prayer and other Christian meetings, but this in no 
wise daunted or discouraged him in his life of devotion 
to his Master's service. He became a class leader in 
the church, w^hich relation he held for more than 
thirty-five consecutive years. He was a remarkably 
useful leader, sometimes having charge of three classes 
at once, always leading with skill and acceptability and 
being almost a second Corvoso. At times as many as 
thirty persons who belonged to his class would pray 
in public, and many useful leaders were trained under 
his care. 

Father was happy in his choice of a helpmeet, in 
the person of Isabella Dunn, daughter of Hugh and 
Rebecca Dunn, of Scotch descent. From early girl- 
hood she had been a devoted Christian and became a 
great help to my father in his Christian life, her pa- 
tient, quiet spirit toning down his impulsive and some- 
what hasty temperament. My parents were poor, like 
most of the citizens in that early day, but by diligence 
and frugality were enabled to rear their family in rea- 
sonable comfort. 

***** 5k * 

My mother was an invalid for years, so greatly 
afHicted that for long periods she was deprived of the 

60 1 AM BORN. 

privilege of attending public religious services with 
those she loved. My recollections of her are associ- 
ated with my earliest religious impressions, made by 
her example and teachings. The Bible was her daily 
companion and she early inclined me to read and rev- 
erence the Word of God. I remember a most impres- 
sive lesson given me under these circumstances. A 
little girl by the name of Carroll, whose sister was a 
very dear friend of my sister, died. My sister took me 
to Mr. Carroll's the morning of the funeral to see the 
corpse. This was the first time I had ever stood be- 
side a coffin looking upon the lifeless form of a human 
being. My heart was deeply touched. In the after- 
noon when the bell was tolling slowly and solemnly 
my mother drew me near her side as she sat in her 
chair and talked to me of God and heaven, and told 
me with much tenderness that if I would be pious and 
serve God in life when I should die my spirit would 
go to heaven. I remember I believed that the soul 
of that little girl was with the angels, singing the 
praises of God. That lesson has not lost its efifect 
upon my mind to this hour. Soon after this occur- 
rence mother took rne to her bedroom and caused me 
to kneel by her side and there prayed for her little son 
while the warm tears ran down her cheeks and fell on 
my upturned face. I wondered why my mother wept. 
I know now why she wept and prayed! 

It was the established custom of my father to have 
family prayers. Often did father and mother become 
so wonderfully blessed on such occasions that they 
shouted the praises of God, rejoicing with exceeding 
joy. Very frequently class leaders and others would 
come and spend the evening at our home, when a 

I AM BORN. 61 

season of song and prayer v/ould end in a grand shout 
of praise to Christ the Redeemer. 

In 1829 my father rented and took charge of a 
ferry at the foot of Market street in Steubenville. We 
Hved near the river where we had a neighbor, Mr. 
Robert Hering, who was a warm friend of Sabbath 
schools, and a kind man to httle boys. On the day 
that I was eight years old he presented me with a little 
book called "The Pilgrims." I prized that book very 
highly and read it with great delight and profit. I had 
a playhouse in the yard into Vvdiich I used to go to 
read and pray. On that day I took my new book 
and went there to read. While there I know my 
heart was renewed. I was exceedingly happy, and I 
felt as distinctly as I ever have since that I was in- 
wardly moved by the Holy Ghost to be a preacher of 
the gospel. From that day all my reading was with 
a view to a preparation for that great work, and I did 
not pass a week without the conviction that I was to 
be a minister of the gospel of Christ. 

During our residence here my father engaged in 
keeping a store. This, with the ferry, was helping 
him to recover losses sustained by going security for a 
brother who had failed in business. But a band of 
desperadoes, some of whom wxre afterward hanged 
in Wheeling for murder, broke into his store and rob- 
bed it of a large quantity of valuable goods, money 
and papers, which so embarrassed him that he never 
fully recovered from the loss sustained. Thus embar- 
rassed in business and having sickness to contend with 
he had ever after a hard struggle to support his fam- 
ily, and could give his children only a limited educa- 
tion. We were all of a studious turn, however, and 
made reasonable progress for our opportunities. By 
my sister's side I took my first lesson in a little Sunday 

62 I AM BORN. 

school primer. Both my sisters were early in life con- 
verted and became active in the service of God. Two 
other sisters had died in infancy. My older brother, 
who was named for Grandfather Fisher — John Chris- 
topher — was happily converted while our mother still 
lived. He became a useful class leader, an efficient 
steward and trustee in the church, and lived and died 
an exemplary member of the church of our father. 

After the death of mother, on September 7, 1837, 
we were left in the care of our second sister, who took 
charge of the home and family, the older sister having 
married just one week before mother died. Father, 
sister and three brothers were now left without a moth- 
er's counsel to guide them in domestic cares or the 
affairs of life. Our home was gloomy; but the 
triumph of mother was so complete that heaven 
seemed nearer and the Savior dearer than ever before. 

Her last words were. "J^^us is mine, and I am His." 

Father's second wife was Miss Elizabeth Permar, a 
maiden lady of considerable experience in domestic 
aftairs, having in girlhood been charged with the care 
of her father's family upon the death of her own moth- 
er. She was also a devout Christian woman and 
proved to be a good mother and a great blessing to 
our home. I was asked when father brought her to 
us: "What are you going to call her?" I answered: 
*'I am going to call her mother, and if I do my duty 
she will do hers," and so it proved. She was always as 
a mother to me. 




In 1838 Rev. George S. Holmes was the pastor of 
the church of which my father and family were mem- 
bers. During the winter there was a remarkable re- 
vival, taking in its range the old and young of both 
sexes. Among the converts was the pastor's son, 
Charles Avery. He and I were nearly of an age and 
very intimate friends. On the evening of Monday, 
February 15, 1838, Charles was converted. Next 
morning our Sunday school superintendent, Mr. 
Francis Bates, came to the shop where I was working 
and said to me, ''Hugh, you should have been at the 
meeting last night to have seen how happy Charles 
Holmes was. He was converted." I could not reply. 
I went out of the shop and passed around the large 
chimney used by the shop (we were coopers) and wept 
like a child. My young friend had obtained salvation 
and I was without a satisfying assurance of mine, for 
though my childhood's conversion had never lost its 
influence upon me, the years had brought increasing 
need of a larger grace. That evening I went to church 
and during the sermon my heart was broken. When 
the invitation for mourners was given I went and knelt 
as a seeker of conscious salvation. That night I found 
no clear evidence of peace. On the next afternoon I 
attended a private prayer meeting led by my father 
and again presented myself at the altar of prayer. I 
felt some relief of mind from the fact that I knew I was 
in the line of duty. At night I again presented myself 


as a seeker, resolved that I would not leave the place 
until consciously saved. My case grew desperate. I 
felt that it was all dark, that I was sinking into despair. 
The floor on which I was kneeling seemed to be sink- 
ing beneath me and I appeared hopelessly lost. Sud- 
denly and to my great astonishment my tears ceased 
to flow. Just then my kind Sabbath school teacher, 
Mr. John Taylor, came to my side and laying his arm 
tenderly around my neck with deep sympathy, said to 
me earnestly, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and 
thou shalt be saved." 

That was exactly what I was trying to do, but just 
what I did not know how to do. His words sank deep 
into my ear and seemed to possess a wonderful charm, 
especially when he spoke the name of "Jesus." This 
strengthened my heart. I raised erect upon my knees 
and stretching my hands to heaven cried out in an- 
guish, "Lord, save or I perish." I lost sight of myself 
and my surroundings. The ceiling seemed to vanish 
as I gazed upward, the roof to part asunder, and by 
faith I beheld Christ standing at the right hand of the 
Father looking tenderly down upon me. I ventured 
out of myself and sins, being helped by the Holy 
Ghost, into the arms of Jesus, and as quick as a spark 
from smitten steel light fell upon me and filled the 
house with glory. My sins were pardoned! My soul 
was free! I rejoiced in the clearest possible evidence 
that 1 was born again and adopted into the family of 
God. I bounded over the mourners' bench and across 
the altar into the arms of my young friend and we 
shouted together the praises of God in the presence of 
the vast congregation, most of whom had known me 
from childhood and many of whom deeply sym- 
pathized with me in mv new found joy, and praised 
God in my behalf. When my joy had subsided a little 


I wondered why I had not believed earHer — it now ap- 
peared so pleasant and easy. The evidence of my ac- 
ceptance was so clear that I have never for a single 
moment since that night been tempted to doubt it. 

Immediately my impressions of duty grew clearer 
and I felt with new force that I was called to preach 
Jesus and the resurrection. As I walked home with 
my brother and sister it appeared to me that the moon 
and stars shone with greater brilliancy than ever be- 
fore. All nature seemed changed into one vast scene 
of delight and praise. My soul was exceedingly peace- 
ful and happy. 

With renewed assiduity I began to study everything 
that I thought would fit me for a useful ministerial 
life. I found great difficulties to be overcome. My 
education was of necessity very limited. Schools were 
not accessible. My father was getting old and had to 
struggle to provide for his family. His previous losses 
had so reduced him financially that all his children 
found it necessary to do what they could to help him. 
Therefore we were raised to very active habits, which, 
however, are perhaps as great a fortune as land or 
money. My opportunities for obtaining an education 
were greater than any of the family, as I was acquiring 
a trade which enabled me to study. But another diffi- 
culty confronted me. Our church was always clam- 
oring for "educated preachers," and at this time there 
was much talk about higher education for ministers 
of the gospel, though not so much as to how those 
called to this work were to obtain education. I knew 
little, indeed almost nothing, about circuit work, ex- 
cept as my ideas had been formed from what I knew 
of full grown and able preachers, such as Waterman, 
Bascom, Holmes, Babcock, Swazey, Kinney, Cook, 


Battell and their class of expounders of the truth. I 
could not expect to preach as they did, but how my 
heart panted for the knowledge that would fit me for 
the ministry! My soul thirsted for the learning that 
lay beyond my reach. 

A third difficulty stood in the way to hinder me. 
Several young men had felt ''called" and were per- 
suaded that they should preach. The church encour- 
aged them and for a season they did well, but before 
getting into conference they broke down and utterly 
failed. The fear of a like failure became the greatest 
barrier in my way. Looking back upon those early 
needs and fears I am led to think that it is much easier 
for a young man to start in the ministry from a rural 
district or country charge than from a city station. 
With these difficulties in my way on one hand and 
my convictions of duty on the other I had a terrible 
warfare rmming through all the years of my young 
life and manhood. Sometimes I was almost driven to 
despair, when I would conclude to give up the idea oi 
becoming a preacher. But in this conclusion I found 
no rest. Then I would resolve to go forward. If God 
had called me he was responsible and would clear the 
path before me as I advanced. I had adopted as my 
motto that quaint saying of Davy Crockett's, ''Be sure 
you are right and then go ahead;" and again and again 
under its quickening influence my courage would 
arouse and I would press on through the darkness 
until light would come upon my soul. 

All this time I was reading, studying and praying 
while I continued to help my father maintain his fam- 
ily and pay my way through school. For months I 
worked from early in the morning until nine o'clock, 
then met my classes in the academy and recited with 
them, returning immediately to my work, where I 


would continue until 4 p. m., again returning to recite, 
then working until dark and studying until midnight. 
My lessons in the languages, higher mathematics and 
astronomy were studied with my books lying or 
standing open on my bench held in position by a 
block of wood. I would catch a sentence and while 
champering a head or setting a hoop would repeat it 
over and over until I could catch another and settle 
it in my mind. Very many nights when the town bell 
in the old tower would toll out the noon of night I 
was on my knees with the open Bible spread on the 
shop chair praying to the Giver of Wisdom, who up- 
braideth not, that he would guide my path aright. 

I continued thus to study and work until our family 
physician enjoined my father to no longer allow me to 
do so lest I should ruin my health, which, greatly to 
my sorrow, was already impaired. So I was com- 
pelled to change my habits of study and devote less 
time to my books. Still my soul thirsted for knowl- 
edge that I might be qualified for usefulness as a 
preacher of salvation. Often I went under the river 
bank into coves washed by the eddying waters of the 
beautiful Ohio, and imagining the stream a congrega- 
tion of sinners I would preach repentance, faith and 
salvation, weeping at the story of the cross while my 
soul was moved with a desire to do good. There were 
times when the sense of responsibility upon me was 
so great that I prayed in agony of soul to be released 
and have another called in my stead. 

Just opposite where we lived there was a deep de- 
file between the towering Virginia hills which skirt the 
Ohio opposite Steubenville. This formed a dark, ro- 
mantic canon, bowered with stately pines and graceful 
birch. Vast chf¥s of rocks stood bare on either side, 


and away up the winding canon was an old moss-cov- 
ered rock sheltered by a beautiful birch, so dense in its 
foliage and so interlacing its comrades that the sun- 
light scarce ever fell upon the secluded spot. I some- 
times went there to pray, and more than once did I 
think I would go, like Elijah in the wilderness, and 
hide behind that rock and fast and pray until God 
would either relieve me from the call to the ministry 
or by audible voice tell me in unmistakable words what 
he would have me do and how he would have me do 
it. Then the Holy Spirit would ask "What more or 
greater evidence would a voice give than that thou hast 
in the inward call of the Holy Ghost?" The conflict 
was continuous and consuming, notwithstanding I 
doubted neither my conversion nor call. Not a day 
or hour has passed without that deep, constant urgent 
voice as clear as the hour I first heard it. 

Some years later I formed the acquaintance of John 
R. Shearer, a young man who afterward became a 
member of the Pittsburg conference. One beautiful 
Sabbath afternoon as we walked together I revealed to 
him what I had kept locked up in my heart so long — 
my convictions of duty and the severity of my strug- 
gle. He entered into full sympathy with me, gave me 
excellent advice, and soon after wrote me a letter 
containing good and profitable direction. Following 
upon this, I conferred with the presiding elder con- 
cerning the subject of my desire and hope, but was 
sadly disappointed in receiving from him whose duty 
it was to help me little of encouragement and no valu- 
able advice. 

I was at this time a member of the Young Men's 
prayer meeting, and, as the discipline recommended 
and required, several young men about my age had 
organized a "Band Meeting." We met in band in an 


upper room, with closed doors, for the purpose of 
scrutinizing our hearts and conduct. This was the 
best means of grace I ever attended. Here we laid 
our souls open before God and each other and prayed 
with and for each other. The Lord heard and answer- 
ed us. I was also greatly aided in preparation by a 
"Youth's Lyceum" in which we debated questions of 
a strictly moral character. On a memorable occasion 
we had the question "Has Man the Power of Voli- 
tion?" For once and only once I turned Calvanist, 
and taking the "Westminster Confession of Faith" and 
"Buck's Theological Dictionary" for text books, made 
a pretty fair defense of the negative. Indeed, it was 
placed to my credit that I won a decided victory — it 
was unfortunate, however, that it should have been on 
the wrong side! 

These opportunities with regular attendance upon 
Sabbath schools, Bible classes, and teachers' meetings, 
became as schooling to me. In fact I graduated from 
the Sabbath school into the ministry. It was my theo- 
logical Alma Mater. My Sunday school commence- 
ment was the beginning of my itinerancy. Few in the 
church or Sabbath school knew that I was preparing 
for the ministry, only as they surmised it from my 
close application to study, though the church seemed 
to have a conviction tnat I would preach. Meantime 
the lessons I had taken in vocal music were proving 
of great use in my work, and I was early elected 
chorister to the Sabbath school and subsequently to 
the church. 




Our Sabbath school was a model school. We had 
forty-four regular teachers besides a full corps of offi- 
cers. Most of these were deeply devoted to the school 
and church. It was here that I became acquainted 
with Miss Elizabeth M. Acheson, who subsequently 
became my wife. She was the oldest daughter of John 
and Ann Jane Acheson, who were Scotch Presby- 
terians and of Scotch-Irish extraction. EHzabeth be- 
ing warmly enwrapped in the Sabbath school, a con- 
geniality of interests ensued. Acquaintance became 
intimacy. This became a matter of prayer; for I was 
not free to marry, as that would effectually prevent 
my becoming an itinerant. Yet, believing as I did, that 
this young woman, who is by my side at the age of 
seventy years as I write these lines, would make me 
a helpmeet indeed, I proposed to her and in due time 
was accepted, and the time agreed upon for marrying 
was put five years in the future — unless the Lord 
should open my way earlier into the itnerancy. 

This was a fortunate contract for me, for not in- 
frequently when, discouraged on account of the diffi- 
culties in my way, I would say, 'T have a notion to 
give up the idea of being a preacher, get married and 
settle down in life; the church needs devoted laymen, 
as well as preachers," my betrothed would reply: ''You 
believe you are called of God to be a preacher; if you 
disobey Him you cannot prosper; I don't want to 


marry a failure; do you remember Jonah? I don't 
want a whale to swallow my husband. He might 
not escape as well as Jonah did; we will wait God's 
own time." Thus, at the time I most needed help God 
gave me a counsellor whose advice has always been 
in the line of duty. My brother-in-law, Joseph Lan- 
ing,^ though not a professed Christian, also gave me 
advice which wonderfully strengthened me in the 
overcoming of obstacles which appeared to me almost 

Thus helped I pressed onward. My early efiforts 
at public leadership and speaking were trying ordeals, 
almost crucifixions, but usually resulted in victory,' 
increase of strength and high resolve. My sermons to 
imaginary congregations were prophecies, many of 
them already fulfilled. The scenes of my youthful 
vision became realities in fact and form. My first at- 
tempt at leading was in a young men's prayer meeting. 
Clark Hufif and William Richards were the responsible 
leaders. It was their duty to see that the meeting was 
properly conducted. I had been appointed to open 
the devotions with reading, singing and prayer. I had 
learned my scripture lesson almost by heart. My 
hymn was number seven hundred and one. When 
the hour came for commencing the service I was so 
seized with fear that I could not stand up to read. 
Brother Hufif seeing my embarrassment sang a verse 
or two and then said: "Take up the cross. Brother 
Hugh, there is a blessing under it." With great 
trembling and fear I arose, read my scripture lesson 
and knelt and prayed. This meeting proved a great 
benefit to my soul, lessening my timidity and increas- 
ing my spiritual strength. 

My first public speech was a missionary address 


before the Sabbath school of nearly eight hundred. 
I was then but a lad. God gave me help and the re- 
sult of that effort lives yet, though the majority who 
heard it have fallen asleep in Jesus. 

Soon after this, upon my motion in teachers' meet- 
ing, we planned a Sabbath school in the district in 
the north part of the city. I was its first secretary 
and commissioned to secure the use of the house. The 
school developed very rapidly and grew into a good 
appointment, finally becoming a self-sustaining sta- 
tion. It was in this house that several years later 1 
preached my first and trial sermon, and it was in this 
house that I was afterwards regularly licensed to 
preach on Christmas Day, 1847, ^^^ i^ was in this 
house that I was, in December, 1895, introduced oy 
the pastor of the now prosperous church as the 
founder and planter of it. 

About the time we organized this Sabbath school 
I was appointed class leader. With much fear and 
trembling I attempted to lead. Good results followed 
from my efforts, and the class, though almost broken 
up at the time I took charge, soon recovered a good 

My leadership here ended only to give place to more 
active duties as an exhorter. The first meeting I held 
in this latter relation was in Sycamore school-house 
on Florence Circuit, of which Rev. Israel Dallas was 
pastor. He was called home on account of the sick- 
ness of his father in the fall of 1844, just after the 
presidential election in which Polk and Dallas were 
made president and vice-president. I had been ab- 
sent from home when Brother Dallas called to secure 
my services to fill appointments during his absence. 
When I returned my father told me Mr. Dallas had 


called to see me. I wondered why the vice-president 
of the United States should call up on me, especially 
as all my political feelings were on the other side. 
Seeing my quandary and misconception, father hu- 
mored the joke a little until I became thoroughly in- 
terested to know what the vice-president wished with 
me, when I was gravely informed that it was the Rev. 
Mr. Dallas who had called and who wanted me to 
preach or hold a m.eeting at Sycamore school-house, 
in Virginia. 

At the appointed time I went to the place of meet- 
ing and found it full of people anxious to hear the 
gospel. I spoke to them from the language of John 
the Baptist. "He must increase but I decrease," and 
we had what was to me a glorious meeting. This, 
almost the beginning of my ministerial work, was in- 
dicative of the larger duties soon to overtake me, in 
whose struggles and conflicts encouragement and vic- 
tories were often to mingle. 

Hill's school-house in Ohio, and Beatie's school- 
house in Virginia were points where occasional visits 
afforded me the opportunity of holding religious services 
for exhortation and prayer. Sometimes, also, I ac- 
companied Mr. Frederic Risher, a local preacher of 
some repute, to appointments in Annapolis, called Old 
Blue Salem. These journeys afforded me opportunity 
to converse with one who had larger experience than 
I and proved very profitable, yielding to me the 
treasures of a knowledge I could not hope for by read- 
ing alone, though I was all the while applying myself 
to study with the greatest possible diligence. I read, 
visited, exhorted, and attended all the meetings I could 
reach with a single view of qualifying myself for the 
work to which I felt called. 

Finally I commenced the study of "Systematic Di- 


vinity" under the direction of Rev. Geo. S. Holmes, of 
the Pittsburg conference, a clear thinker and a sound 
gospel preacher, who said to me encouragingly, ''My 
boy, if you master Watson's Theological Institutes 
you will be able to preach anywhere." 

About this time I made the acquaintance of Rev. 
Mr. Hoagland, pastor of the Methodist Protestant 
Church in Steubenville. Together we studied that 
most beautiful science, astronomy. I found him to be 
a clever and spiritual gentleman. My advantages soon 
almost equalled those able to attend theological 
schools; for I had the acquaintance of Rev. C. C. 
Beatty, D. D., president and proprietor of Steuben- 
ville's celebrated female seminary, over which Dr. 
Read, a friend of later years, now presides, and also of 
Rev. Intripit Moss, D. D., of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church. Both were able ministers of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, whose lives and advices to me were rich in 

My first knowledge of Sabbath school celebrations 
dates back to the very initiation of them — a union 
celebration on the Fourth of July, 1832, consisting in 
singing and appropriate addresses delivered in the First 
Presbyterian Church, after which we formed a pro- 
cession and marched to Dr. Beatty's seminary where 
we were refreshed in body as well as in soul. The 
singing was very unlike our present Sabbath school 
songs, but it was the beginning of that wonderful 
change which has come over society by which the 
Sabbath school has sanctified our national holidays 
to the remembrance of patriotism and the promotion 
of religion, thus doing away with the general or militia 
musters which used to be attended with drunkenness 
and rioting. Tis a happy and blessed change! 


In after years it was my privilege to visit all the 
Protestant Sabbath schools in Steubenville by invita- 
tion of a union teachers' meeting to teach new tunes 
and songs to be used on similar but grander scale. 
Such was the progress of Sabbath school influence that 
the Episcopalians, and even the Seceders, not only al- 
lowed me to teach their schools the songs, but were 
zealous to have me do so. This beautiful exhibition 
of Christian union influenced my after life; early I 
learned ''How good and pleasant it is for brethren to 
dwell together in unity!" 

The years rolled by while my soul was being thus 
enriched and my mind stored with valuable material 
for use in the saving work of the Christian ministry, 
and almost imperceptibly I was learning the great 
benefit of pastoral visitation and pleasant intercourse 
with Christian workers. 

li. addition to the above cited means of Christian 
culture and experience I occasionally attended a field 
or out-door meeting for religious service on the hill- 
side under the shade of the stately oak and poplar. 
These meetings were usually led by a band of zealous 
English people called ''Primitive Methodists." Chief 
among them wxre Mr. and Mrs. Riley. She, espe- 
cially, was mighty in word and prayer and her labors 
were acknowledged by the spirit in the salvation of 
precious souls. These out-door meetings were schools 
whose lessons have been of great service to me in 
many similar public services, religious, patriotic and 
reformatory. While I felt intensely difTfident, by such 
example and in varied ways it was being impressed 
upon me that duty and success demand promptness of 
action, and my aim was growing more directly to- 
ward results. Having frequent opporunity of hearing 
class leaders converse in my father's family, especially 


on the subject of pastoral visitation and its absolute 
necessity to a successful ministry, I early resolved I 
would try to become a faithful pastor. In subsequent 
years I have found great pleasure and profit in pas- 
toral work, and deeply regret that this important de- 
partment of church work should be so largely neglect- 
ed at the present day. 

To-day I look back upon those years of varied and 
trying experiences to see that they were only prepar- 
atory — that I had yet to realize that there are more 
and greater trials to follow. I was truly in the fur- 
nace which was to be heated seven times hotter than 
it was used to be heated. But the fire has not con- 
sumed, only refined, and given me such an estimate of 
the world, its poverty-stricken riches and its unmiti- 
gated and miserably pleasurable munificence, that the 
hardships of an itinerant life have become luxurious 
and its privations have no discouragements, the se- 
verest conflicts no terror. 




But while these young years were wearing away 
I often almost gave up the thought of pressing on to 
the ministry. Waves of darkness, mountain high, 
would roll over my despairing soul and out of the 
darkness I would cry unto the Lord as out of the 
depths of hell and He would hear my cry and deliver 
me. Then up I would rise again to the determination 
of duty or death ! 

The time came at last when the path opened before 
me bright and clear. I had most solemnly promised 
God on my knees that if he would open the way I 
would go even to the ends of the earth, claiming the 
promise, "Lo, I am with thee to the ends of the world." 
In the fall of 1847 ^Y father and I were engaged at 
coopering. We had laid in a stock for the winter and 
had made all calculations for success in the business, 
when early in November Rev. David S. Welling of the 
Pittsburg conference, an able and eloquent preacher 
stationed on the Jefferson circuit, came to Steuben- 
ville to get help in holding a series of meetings on his 
circuit. He was directed to call on me with the infor- 
mation that I was studying for the ministry and would 
be of service if he could persuade me to go. My way 
was open. After consulting with father I consented to 
help him. We traveled in a "hack" to a little town 
where we took supper, thence proceeded to Annapolis 
on horseback, and from this point to Hopewell 


Church. Here we had a glorious meeting, resulting 
in the conversion of about forty precious souls, among 
the number a Quakeress and her husband by the name 
of Scott. I never before witnessed such a wonderful 
change in the expression of a human countenance as 
was shown in the face of this woman. The divine pow- 
er of saving faith had a truly wonderful illustration in 
her conversion. 

One Sabbath night there occurred in this church a 
scene which deserves description. The house was a 
good-sized, old-fashioned log church, rudely seated 
and generally well filled with attentive hearers. It was 
warmed by the use of a large wood-burning stove, 
the chimney passing out through the center of the loft 
and roof. On the occasion referred to there was an 
unusually large congregation in attendance. I had 
preached in the church in Annapolis in the morning, 
and at night was preaching at a full church from the 
words, ''Behold He cometh and every eye shall see 
Him, and they also that pierced Him and all flesh 
shall wail because of Him. Even so. Amen!" Just 
as I reached the climax on the last part of the text 
and the people were listening with rapt attention there 
came the sound of a mighty crash, an apparent tremb- 
ling of the whole house, a flickering of the lights, fol- 
lowed by a slow and confused rumbling lasting for a 
few seconds — then silence as of death. Men and wo- 
men turned pale, glanced at each other terror-stricken, 
looked at the preacher as he stood with uplifted hands 
and streaming eyes, and as if by one common impulse 
of terror uttered a wail of anguish as if the judgment 
was set and the judge descending had heralded his 
coming. For a moment all was mystery. Then it 
flashed upon me that the chimney had fallen, which 
proved correct. While taking advantage of the so- 


lemnity of the ocasion I applied the truth to the 
awakened and interested congregation. Several were 
converted that evening. I remained at a neighbor's 
over night and the next day joined his sons in rebuild- 
ing the chimney, whose fall had aided me in the ap- 
pHcation of the doctrine of the judgment to come. 

A little later we held another meeting at a point 
where there was a large log church, floored, and seated 
with puncheons — benches of split logs hew^n smoothly 
on the upper side with legs made of short, stiff sticks 
stuck in augur holes in the under side of the slabs. 
The people came from a considerable distance in wag- 
ons, in the winter in sledges, bringing all the members 
of the family. The high old pulpit was of ample di- 
mensions, utterly destitute of pretension to architec- 
tural design or finish. It was a compact box entered 
by several steps through a door which when closed 
and buttoned so completely sheltered the preacher 
that the congregation could not see him nor he them 
until he arose to preach, and even then only part of his 
body was visible above the "book board." It was a 
"bust view" only. This proved to be an admirable 
device for preachers who stood in all manner of wrig- 
gling attitudes or whose brogans were strangers to 
brush and blacking. Imagine a spare, pale-faced, un- 
initiated youth from the midst of a fastidious city con- 
gregation taking his place in such a pulpit and facing 
such a congregation alone! The opening services 
were gone through wath without perceptible embar- 
rassment I had just read my text and begun to speak 
when my attention was attracted by an unusual noise. 
It was as regular and deliberate as the ticking of the 
old wall-sweeping clock that hung in my grandfather's 
house, sounding out a solemn "thump," "thump," 


"thump," "thump." Wondering, as wonder I would, 
and preaching on as best I could, I at last caught the 
direction of the sound and determined to discover the 
cause. I moved in the large pulpit in the direction 
from whence it came until I could look over and down 
into the "amen corner." Out of compassion for their 
wives and children and with an evident view to rock 
the children in the cradle of Methodism, the men had 
extemporized what would now be called a crib, an 
old-fashioned cradle of mammoth proportions, and 
had placed it in the right hand amen corner of the 
church near the pulpit. Into this omnibus crib went 
the babies when their mothers had wearied of holding 
them. Greatly to my discomfiture my eyes now rested 
on the rude cradle which was gently but regularly 
moved by the foot of a devoted grandmother and 
which contained four or five sleeping babies. When 
one little fellow would begin to squirm its mother 
would pick him out and thus make room soon to be 
filled by another mother's darling. The grandmothers 
— God bless our grandmothers — wxre devout in wor- 
shipping God and building up Methodism by training 
the children to love the Church and attend His wor- 
ship. For a time that day both my sermon and gravity 
were upset by the picture, but I got away from that 
side of the pulpit, shut my eyes and drove right on. 

While we were holding these meetings I occasion- 
ally visited a sick man in Salem whose name was Car- 
ter. He w^as a profane and violent infidel and would 
take his little son on his knee and teach him to swear, 
giving him money to induce him to excel in profanity. 
During this man's illness and on his death-bed neigh- 
bors who watched with him would sometimes become 
so terrified that they would flee the room. One morn- 


ing I called to see the dying man. I was requested to 
read and pray, but my prayer was unavailing — the 
pitying heavens seemed to be closed. There was a 
fearful gloom over all ; the room was filled with neigh- 
bors, many of them strong men, who had come to 
witness his death. The dying man struggled agoniz- 
ingly, determined not to die, but at last gasped con- 
vulsively and was dead: His heart-broken wife stood 
beside the bedside transfixed with horror. Presently 
she threw her arms about the lifeless form of her hus- 
band and shrieked, "Oh, Carter! Carter! I could give 
you up, but where is your immortal soul?" A wail 
of woe went up from that company as from a lost ves- 
sel in the storm, heart-rending but ineffectual. May 
God in His mercy forbid that I should witness another 
such a death-bed scene! 

In contrast with the death of Carter there occurred 
another a few miles distant from this place, the case 
of a young woman named Harriett Watson. Her 
mother was a widow, the family was in very moderate 
circumstances and Harriett was dying of consumption. 
I occasionally visited her and read, sang and prayed 
with the family at her bedside. She was confident in 
the prospect of immortahty and joyous in the hope of 
heaven. When taking my last leave of her I asked, 
"Harriett, how is it with your soul?" 

She replied, "All is well. I'll soon be at home. 
Hallelujah! Jesus saves me!" 

"Have you any message to those to whom I 
preach?" I asked. 

"Yes," said she, "tell every one, especially the young 
women and young men, to seek salvation and prepare 
for heaven." 

Soon after this the angels carried her redeemed 
spirit to the Paradise of God. The chamber in which 


this good young woman died was privileged above the 
common walks of virtuous life, quite on the verge of 
heaven. Harriett rests from her labors but her works 
do follow her. I have delivered, her message to thou- 
sands upon thousands and will repeat it and carry it 
onward through my remaining years until thousands 
more shall hear and obey. 

Will you not hear her message too? 

There were several converted in Anapoiis who 
were in advanced life and could not pray in public 
for want of ready utterance. I advised that they should 
learn a prayer or repeat the Lord's prayer. A Brother 
Hutton got hold of a Sunday school book that had a 
very good prayer in it. This he learned by heart. At 
the next meeting he commenced his prayer, re- 
peated a part of it, but, forgetting the rest, broke 
off into an extempore prayer which pleased and prof- 
ited those who he*rd it. From that evening he had no 
need of books or formulas but became mighty in pray- 
er, giving glory to God in his own good way. 

After spending six weeks on this circuit, assisting 
in meetings, I returned to Steubenville to ask a license 
to preach. The ofBcial board on the circuit said if the 
quarterly conference at Steubenville did not grant the 
license they would. But I preferred a license from a 
board who had always known me. I returned, there- 
fore, and made my request known. After due course 
of recommendation and thorough examination, on 
Christmas Day, 1847, I was licensed in regular form. 
The examination was very critical, led by Revs. 
Hiram Gilmore and George S. Holmes. I had tried 
in the few days after my return to review and be pre- 
pared, but the very anxiety of mind I was under ren- 
dered review next to impossible. But the Lord helped 


me and I was licensed and fully committed to the life 
of a preacher. 

In ten days I was on my way as an itinerant. A 
good old brother gave me a pair of saddlebags, into 
which I put my scanty wardrobe and library and 
started on my life work on foot and alone. My father 
followed me to the gate and with tearful eyes, after 
giving me good advice, said to me: '*My son, what- 
ever you do, be yourself. Copy no man. Put your 
trust in God and always do well whatever you under- 
take. Never forsake Him, and He will not forsake 
you. God bless you! Goodbye!" 

I walked part of the way and was conveyed part 
of the way by a countryman in a sled, through slush 
and mud and snow. On my return to the circuit I 
met a warm reception and entered at once on the work. 
Here I spent six months of unremitting toil, witness- 
ing marvelous displays of saving grace and counting it 
all joy to preach Jesus Christ my Lord. 


"to the work!" 

During the latter part of the year I became intense- 
ly interested in the cause of temperance. One place 
in the circuit, Annapolis, had become notorious as 
a resort of wicked men and drunkards. Dram-drink- 
ing and drunkenness were on the increase. One Sab- 
bath afternoon at church I was wonderfully led by the 
spirit of God to pray for the destruction of this great 
and growing evil. I prayed that the Lord would 
convert or remove the occupants or destroy the place 
where this traffic was carried on. There was at the 
time of prayer a black cloud overspreading the 
heavens, and before the prayer was ended there came 
a flash of lightning from the inky bosom of the cloud, 
followed by a clanking crash, as if a hissing bolt from 
the hand of Jehovah would rend the very earth. Evi- 
dently the lightning had spent the force of its quick 
stroke not far from the place where we were assembled 
to worship. My hearers were startled and deep se- 
riousness fell upon us all. When we were dismissed 
the report came that the house where the liquor was 
sold had been struck with lightning, the inmates se- 
verely shocked, and that it was with difHculty they 
had saved the house from burning. The proprietor 
was greatly alarmed, and after hearing of the prayer 
and reflecting upon the coincidence resolved to give 
up the business and remove to another place, fearing 


another stroke from heaven, and thus we were freed 
from the evil. 

The people and preacher desired that I should re- 
main on the circuit, but the people were poor and 
the preacher's family dependent, so that for six 
months' work I had received but fifty cents in money 
and about thirteen dollars worth of clothing and pres- 
ents. Though I'd been happy as a king, I gave up 
the circuit and by the advice of the presiding elder 
was recommended for admission into the Pittsburg an- 
nual conference at its session in Wheeling, Virginia, 
on the 5th of July, 1848. At this session the West 
Virginia conference was set ofif from the Pittsburg 
conference. I was appointed to Paris circuit in Stark 
county, Ohio, with Dyas Neal as preacher in charge 
and Zarah Coston presiding elder. 

Immediately on receiving my appointment I started 
on horseback to my new work. I had been ill during 
the session of conference and when I arrived at 
Waynesburgh, a town in the bounds of my circuit, I 
was very weary and weak. After resting a little I 
left an appointment for preaching in town at 3 p. m. on 
Sunday, and having met some of the brethren from 
Wesley Chapel sent an appointment there for 1 1 a. m. 
next day. Rest, medicine and kindly treatment soon 
set me right, so that on Sabbath I was able to preach 
three times. My friends v/ere surprised by my early 
arrival from conference and pleased with my prompt- 

Sabbath morning came. It was a charming day. 
The news of my arrival spread with rapidity and there 
was a large crowd to welcome the new preacher. When 
I reached the church the house was well filled with a 
number in the churchyard eager to see the young 


pastor. I reached the pulpit with no httle trepidation 
and knelt, devoutly asking for the helpful influence 
of the Holy Spirit in preaching the gospel of salva- 
tion. When I took my seat in the pulpit an eager, 
anxious look met my eyes from every part of the large 
congregation. The concentrated gaze of the people 
was upon the trembling, inexperienced youth who for- 
tunately, however, detected in the look of many of 
those before him more of real sympathy and anxiety 
than of censurably cold curiosity. Almost involun- 
tarily, at least without intention or calculation of pos- 
sible failure or reaction, I struck up in easy ringing 

"Come thou fount of every blessing, 
"Tune my heart to sing thy praise." 

As I sang I surveyed my audience to see the effect; 
here and there I detected a pleased glance, suffused 
with tears; then an earnest and devout upturning of 
the eyes, a swelling bosom, breathing through parted 
lips the sentiment of the poet and singer. Here and 
yonder were seen to start the full, round tear drops, 
rolling down the furrowed cheeks of the fathers and 
mothers in Israel. On many a youthful face there 
was an expression of delight at hearing the shrill, 
clear notes of an old tune and hymn sung by the 
strange preacher. One verse sung and the whole 
audience was irresistibly swept into the channel of 
devotion, and with the stranger struck the first note of 
the second verse: 

"Here Til raise my Ebenezer, 
Hither by Thy help I'm come." 

By the time the last verse was sung the whole con- 
gregation belonged to God by solemn vow and was 


mine in every good sense to help in the work of sav- 
ing souls from sin and death. A subdued wave of 
joy rolled over the audience, and when the prayer was 
offered many a hearty ''Amen" lent its impulse like 
wings of light to carry the petition incited by the 
Holy Spirit through the gates of the heavenly temple 
to the throne where the Lamb performs the desires of 
His followers through the merits of His own death, and 
from whence came that day sweet answers of peace 
to the hungry hearts of God's children. 

'The memory of that blessed day: 
O, may it ever stay!" 

This was my introduction, my installment. It has 
been interrupted by change, but never broken up. 
There was none to herald or introduce me, none to 
give seal or signet to m.y appearance. But I was here 
as the sent of the church, by her Bishop, and the Holy 
Ghost honored my coming. No pre-thought, or pre- 
arrangement, but only that song — that grand old 
battle song, of our church — springing as by magic 
to consecrated lips — had touched as by divine power 
and melted as by divine love all hearts into a happy 
union of song and praise. This was a glorious be- 
ginning of a pleasant pastorate of two years on my 
first circuit in the regular work. 

My text on the occasion was "Only fear the Lord 
and serve Him in truth with all thv heart, for consider 
what great things He hath done for thee." 

Having preached at ii a. m. I returned home with 
a brother's family after having formed the acquaintance 
of a number of the prominent memibers of the church. 
After dinner I was accompanied by several of the 
brethren to Waynesburg, where at 3 p. m. I preached 
to a good congregation, many of whom vrelcom.ed me 


most cordially to my new field of labor. I was dis- 
suaded by friends from going to the "Woods" appoint- 
ment, some five miles distant, as there was no an- 
nouncement out, and I therefore preached in Waynes- 
burg at 7:30 p. m. to a larger congregation, the other 
churches having no evening service. 

I immediately proceeded to adjust myself to the 
work before me. Arrangements were made that I 
should have a home at one of the stewards. I then 
started to bring my trunk containing my wardrobe and 
library, such as I had. On my way I was hailed by 
a man whose name was George Wood, who with his 
father and brothers were members of a small class at 
what was known as ''Wood's Meeting House" on 
Paris circuit. These were large, strong men, very hard 
to govern or to keep near the mark of Christian duty. 
They kept whiskey in their houses and drank it. Elec- 
tion days were times with them of settling neighbor- 
hood troubles. They held the neighborhood and class 
in a state of terror, which made the exercise of disci- 
pline very difKicult, indeed next to impossible. I was 
innocent of hint or knowledge of these facts. 

Wood accosted me on the highway with "You are 
the young preacher sent to our circuit, are you?" 

'T am the junior preacher sent by the Bishop to 
Paris circuit." 

''We learn that you are a Son of Temperance," said 
he, "and we are determined that no member of a tem- 
perance society shall preach in our church." 

I replied that I hoped there would be no difBculty 
on that subject, but that I would be on hand at the 
regular time and preach in the church — or on a stump. 

I rode away wondering what manner of man this 
fellow could be. In accordance with the announce- 


merit (contrary to the advice of my colleague) I was 
on time to meet a good congregation. Many had heard 
of the interview between Wood and me and came ex- 
pecting excitement. I preached, announced the next 
appointment and dismissed the people. 

Immediately Wood rose and requested the members 
to remain, saying, "We want to know what the young- 
preacher ixitends to do about leaving the Sons of Tem- 
perance." Then he sat down. 

The unconverted, expecting fun or trouble, stood 
anxiously looking on, for I had fairly won them by 
my sermon. I afterward learned that they had re- 
solved that I should not be harmed. As the first ex- 
citement lulled Wood rose again and said: "We want 
to know if you (addressing me) will leave the Sons of 
Temperance, for we are resolved that no member of 
that order shall preach here." 

I was a stranger, but after surveying the situation 
leisurely, I arose and replied that I was born in Ohio, 
born free, that my father was a gentleman and a Chris- 
tian, and had always taught me to mind my own busi- 
ness, and I had an opinion that the fathers of others 
should have done the same. As to leaving the ''Sons 
of Temperance" I had simply to say if my colleague 
or my presiding elder, either or both, should so advise 
me I would do so; or, if the ciuarterly conference 
should so advise I would comply; but if they said I must 
leave the Sons of Temperance then I would exercise 
my rights as a man and do as I pleased — that I could 
be led but never driven. 

All outside who could hear applauded. Wood and 
his party almost gnashed their teeth upon me. I took 
my hat and walked out amid subdued applause by the 
outsiders. So the matter rested until the quarterly 
conference. The preacher in charge, the elder, and 


the quarterly conference refused to interfere with my 
private rights, and I continued to preach regularly 
there for two years, with but little irritation and some 

The most remarkable display of saving power was 
at Wesley Chapel and at Malvern. Hundreds were 
converted and added to the church. My colleague had 
a long spell of sickness which utterly disqualified him 
for his work for six months. At the meeting many 
very interesting cases of conversion occurred, one or 
two of which may be cited as illustrative of the power 
of grace. 

Miss Brunson, a mute, with whose father I stopped 
when I first came to this circuit, had been married 
several years before to a Mr. George Miller. She was 
the mother of three children but had never been known 
to speak a word. She became deeply convicted of sin 
and sought salvation by faith in Christ. After long 
and prayerful seeking she accepted Christ and was 
gloriously saved. Rising from the altar, with a coun- 
tenance all radiant with joy and hands raised toward 
heaven, she exclaimed audibly and distinctly, "Jesus, 
Jesus, Jesus saves me! Glory!" Such a thrill as went 
through the congregation I never witnessed before 
nor have I since. Strong men wept like children. 
Some wept aloud, others joined the shout, and it ap- 
peared that the Master was filling the house with 
divine light and life and power. The case was reported 
in the "Pittsburg Christian Advocate." This woman 
still lives a Godly life. Partially restored speech con- 
tinues. I visited her and her family in Ohio in 1875. 

The above occurrence brought men and women 
from near and far to attend our meetings, many of 
them unbelievers. Of the number there was a tall, 


fine looking young man, Barton Blygh, who was well 
posted in the objections of infidels, himself an unbe- 
liever. On one occasion he came up near the altar 
to gaze and scofY at the scene. Some of the brethren 
thought he ought to be invited to a back seat, es- 
pecially as he stood defiantly leaning against a column 
near the altar during prayer. I noticed his derisive 
sneer, and asked the brethren to pray that the Holy 
Spirit might touch his stony heart and awaken him. 
When we kneeled to pray I approached him, laid my 
hand on his shoulder and asked him if he did not feel 
the need of salvation. He replied that he neither knew 
nor cared for our religion and wanted nothing to do 
with it. I soon discovered that he was trembling 
violently, and leaning heavily against the column for 
support. The spirit of prayer continued to rise in 
fervor about him. As I stood with my hand on him 
I prayed God to have mercy and enlighten him and 
save him. Presently he cried aloud as though pierced 
with a dart, and fell in the aisle as one slain in a battle. 
There he lay until midnight, stiff and stark, as though 
indeed dead. Dr. Wilson and other physicians exam- 
ined him and wanted to remove him to his home as 
dead, and were ready to say that life was gone; for 
he was as rigid as iron. I told them God could kill 
and make alive, and he would in this case. About 
midnight the sweet, low, subdued singing began to 
penetrate to his soul and he showed signs of returning 
animation. A heavenly smile came over his face, his 
lips moved, some of the brethren near by stooped to 
listen to his whispers; his words became more dis- 
tinct as he repeated with indescribable sweetness, 
"Glory, Glory, Jesus saves me! Glory, Glory, to His 
Name!" This was a glorious conversion and its sub- 
ject remained firm in the faith as long- as T knew him. 




At our meeting at Malvern we had a large ingather- 
ing of young men, while whole families were saved, 
to remain steadfast members of the church. 

There came to our meeting here, on one occasion, a 
canal-boat captain named John Crandall. He was per- 
haps fifty years old, and had been on the canal for 
several years. Rev. J. H. Rogers preached from Luke 
xv-io. Captain Crandall listened to the sermon with 
attention and at the close while the exhortation was 
being pressed upon the people, arose and requested 
the privilege of speaking. I told him to speak on. 

He said: "He that hath an ear to hear let him hear! 
I was the only son of religious parents. I was raised 
in the fear of the Lord. I grew up to young man- 
hood, and my father died. I promised him on his 
death-bed that I would meet him in heaven. Months 
and years passed and often I thought of my promise 
but made no preparation for dying. Finally my moth- 
er was taken sick and called me to her side and said: 
*My son, you promised your father you would 
be religious and meet him in heaven, but you have 
made no start yet. My dear boy, I cannot die satisfied 
unless you promise me you will prepare to meet me 
in heaven.' I then and there promised my dying 
mother I would lead a Christian life and meet her and 
father in heaven. The spirit of God strove with me^ 


but I put off my return to Him from time to time 
I still kept on my wicked ways and sought the society 
of old companions. In a bar-room I cursed God and 
bade the spirit leave me. Soon after I attended a meet- 
ing in Pennsylvania. I was deeply convicted of sin. 
So powerfully did the spirit of God strive with me that 
I trembled like a leaf in the vv'ind. I left my seat to 
go to the altar for prayer but my proud spirit rebelled 
and I stopped in the aisle and leaned against a column 
that supported the gallery. Here for some moments 
I parleyed with the spirit and finally, summoning my 
rebellious will with an oath, I derermined I would run 
the risk of being lost rather than yield in that way. 
At that moment the spirit of God left me. I could 
almost see it departing. A deep, dark night settled 
down on my soul. I went out of the house and cursed 
God and heaven and dared Jehovah to do his worst. 
From that hour until this I have never had a convic- 
tion nor a desire for heaven. I know my doom is 

Standing out in the aisle and raising himself to his 
full height he went on, "Look upon me and behold a 
man in his right mind and yet consciously and justly 
damned above ground! Language fails to describe 
the horror I feel and the anguish that is consuming 
my soul. Oh, the worm that dieth not is now preying 
on my lost soul!" 

The poor man looked the personification of anguish. 

Said he, "I would willingly give the world, did I own 
it, if I could but feel a desire to be saved. The only de- 
sire I have is for my broken-hearted wife and daughter, 
that they may not come into this torment. Some of 
you may say, 'Why, Crandall, if you have such a de- 
sire for others the Lord will save you! He will have 
mercy on you.' No! No! No! Mercy for me is gone 


forever. The rich man in hell desired that his broth- 
ers might not come into that place of torment, and 
he wanted God to send Lazarus to warn them. I 
warn my wife and daughter and all of you who know 
me to turn to God now, for now is your day of salva- 
tion. Mine is gone. My doom is sealed. I am lost, 
lost, lost!" 

His exhortation to others to make peace with God 
and not hazard their salvation by delay or by resisting 
God's spirit was a horrifying appeal that thrilled all 
who heard it. I seem yet, after years have passed, to 
hear and see that man and feel the terror of that hour. 
The congregation was terror-stricken. A score or 
more pressed their way to the altar for prayers and 
before the meeting closed were converted. The re- 
vival continued several weeks and a great number 
professed religion. 

After this Captain Crandall continued to run his 
canal-boat until taken sick at Bolivar, Ohio, where he 
died on his boat. His death was reported to me by 
Mr. Rogers: ''Jo^'^i^ Crandall died in the winter of 
1848-9 at Bolivar. I went down from Waynesburg 
for the purpose of learning how he died. I found his 
boat and his wife and nephew living in it. She was a 
Christian woman. I told her I had heard of the Cap- 
tain's death and asked her how he had died. She said 
she could not endure telling me, but that his nephew 
would tell me. He told me his uncle died a most 
horrible death, cursing God and Jesus Christ. He 
would turn on his stomach and bite his own arms and 
gnaw his own flesh. 'T would leave the boat, so ter- 
rible was it. It seemed to be full of devils, and he 
would tell us the devils were torturing him to death." 

Thus he had lived and thus horribly did he die — a 
rejecter crying, "Remorse ! Remorse ! ! Remorse ! ! !" 




At Paris and other points on the circuit we held suc- 
cessful meetings, especially at Minerva. Here several 
very interesting conversions took place, which attracted 
much attention and became of lasting good to the 
church. There were three very amiable and intelligent 
sisters, by the name of Hostetter, who occasionally at- 
tended our meetings. The first one converted fell un- 
der the displeasure of the mother, who was strongly 
opposed to the Methodist Church. This so interested 
the other sisters that they took sides with the con- 
verted one and it was not many days until all three 
were happy in the Savior's love, sharers together of 
precious faith. In my subsequent visits to the family, 
by invitation of the father, I found the mother quite 
subdued by the beautiful lives of the three Christian 
sisters and almost persuaded to join with them in lead- 
ing a Christian life. Their influence on society led 
many to accept Christ as their Savior. The conversion 
of these young women produced a remarkable change 
in their family, and the revivals of that year have also 
in other ways their fruitage even yet. 

The sickness of my colleague, depriving the circuit 
of his services for half a year, my responsibility and 
work were greatly increased; for, in addition to the 
claims of the circuit I had my conference course of 
study on hand. My method was to study the text- 
books closely and work up the material of the course 


into sermons. Thus as I went through the year I was 
utiHzing my labor and preparing for conference, and 
while the lack of a colleague made it hard for me in my 
inexperience and youth yet the Lord was my strength 
and helper. We reported a large increase and finances 
in a reasonably good conditon. I received seventy- 
six dollars on salary with a good many presents as 
tokens of kindness from the people; among them was 
"a suit from top to toe." There were a great many 
farmers whom I visited and from these families I re- 
ceived numerous gifts, in some of which — not "the 
mitten" — the deft fingers of appreciative young ladies 
had inwrought the initials of my name; pleasant little 
marks of respect, by the way, one of which was to be 
a sign-manual for alarmed recollection far ahead in 
the future. 

Near the close of this my first year of conference 
work, after due deliberation, prayer and counsel with 
my brethren who were acquainted with my betrothed, 
and by the advice of my presiding elder, I concluded 
that it would be of advantage to my work to marry 
before conference, and on the morning of May i, 1849, 
at 6 o'clock, I was married to the wife whose counsel 
has never misled me, nor retarded me in my ministry, 
^nd whose helpful courage, piety and presence have 
always been a tower of strength in my various rela- 
tions of life and my duties to the church. 

We made an early start, both as to the hour of the 
day and the day of the month, as well as the month 
in spring. Our wedding tour was to Steubenville, 
where after two days' visiting we bade our friends 
farewell for an itinerant life, so full of incident, interest, 
fact and history that volumes might be written before 
the whole could be exhausted and recorded. 

Returning to the circuit on May 5, we found a cor- 



dial welcome at Mr. Simeon Westfall's, to whose fam- 
ily my wife became as a sister. Dinner over, we drove 
to Minerva and took supper with the family of David 
Kurtz, whose wife was as a mother to myself and 
bride. After supper we drove to Paris and lodged 
with Brother and Sister Gideon Smith, who had en- 
deared themselves to me by kindnesses I can never 
forget. In their house I had found a home during 
the severest sickness of my life, which had occurred the 
fall previous. These good people always treated me 
as their son and my wife as a daughter. On Sabbath 
day I preached at ii a. m. in Paris, at 3 p. m. at 
FrankHn and again at night in Paris. 

This was my introduction to a married life in the 
itinerancy, the beginning of unceasing activity. Dur- 
ing six succeeding weeks we traveled over the circuit, 
visiting many families who had never had a visit from 
a preacher's wife before, and who took our attention 
to them as a remarkable treat. We thus visited over 
sixty families and so ingratiated ourselves into their 
affections that years of change have not obliterated 
the pleasant memories of the past nor broken up the 
endearing attachments. 

Conference met this year at Brownsville, Pennsyl- 
vania, Bishop Waugh presiding. He said in his ser- 
mon on Sabbath day that ''Christian perfection con- 
sisted in being emptied of sin and filled with the love 
of God." For this I hungered and thirsted. At the 
close of conference my name was announced, with 
Thomas Rucle, to Paris circuit. This surprised me, 
as well as others, for it was unusual to return a pro- 
bationer the second year. I think the secret of my 
return was my method of visiting all the people, which 
had made me very generally acceptable. 


Almost immediately we commenced house-keeping 
in Waynesburgh in a cosy little home of two rooms. 
But as my wife, who had been a school-teacher had 
been somewhat used to boarding around among the 
scholars, it was easy for her to make herself at 
home traveling. the circuit, and we often traveled to- 
gether to my appointments in a buggy. An occur- 
rence took place in the fall of this year which deeply 
impressed us with the value of prayer and the provi- 
dence of God. I had a regular Friday evening ap- 
pointment about six miles from Waynesburgh on the 
Canton road. My wife was accompanying me as 
usual when, at the top of a long and very steep hill, 
whose road was washed out on the upper side and 
was very crooked and in places dangerous, my horse 
stumbled and fell, breaking both thills short off, but 
leaving the traces attached to the single-tree. The 
buggy ran upon the horse, which had fallen down. I 
sprang out and called to my wife to jump, but before 
she could do so the horse in its fright regained his 
feet and rushed wildly down the hillside. My wife 
rose deliberately and threw her cloak back off her 
shoulders and sat down in the buggy. Horse, buggy 
and wife went flying down the road. I thought she 
would be killed. I stood a moment as if paralyzed, 
and prayed, "Lord, save her, save her!" I ran after 
them, expecting to find my wife dead by the wayside. 
After running a third of a mile and turning a sharp 
curve in the road I beheld the buggy, a total wreck; 
the horse was not in sight but my wife, who had been 
thrown down the hillside by the upsetting of the 
buggy, Vv^as gathering herself together and clamber- 
ing up the side of the bank shaking the dust from her 
clothing. When I reached the spot where she stood 
we knelt down in the road, wept for joy and thanked 


God for His interposition in saving her life in answer 
to prayer. Some farmers at the foot of the hill caught 
our runaway horse and one came riding back expect- 
ing to find some one killed by the accident; but he 
found us alive and praising God. We stripped the 
remains of the harness from the horse, and gathering 
the broken buggy together put it into a brother's 
wagon and sent it back to be rebuilt. We then walked 
to the foot of the hill, borrowed a side-saddle, my 
wife took the reins of the prancing steed and rode on 
to the appointment while I walked by her side to meet 
a good congregation to which I attempted to preach. 
The event made a deep impression on all who heard 
of it, and was regarded as a special interposition of 
Providence in answer to prayer. 

My colleague made one full round on the circuit 
when he was taken sick and after a short illness died, 
leaving clear testimony of the ability of Christ to save. 
His death was a sad loss to me, but it became an op- 
portunity of development for future work; for larger 
responsibilities were thrown upon me which gave 
fuller scope to my former observation and experience. 



THE dove's descent. 

At the close of the year conference was held in Can- 
ton, Ohio, Bishop Edmund Janes presiding. I was 
by special request quartered with Uncle Jimmie Arm- 
strong, an old colored man strong in the faith, who 
entertained us in a princely manner. At the confer- 
ence I was admitted into full connection, my proba- 
tion having expired, and ordained as deacon in a class 
with Sheridan Baker, N. C. Worthington, J. J. Mc- 
Ilyar, James Beacon, G. B. Hudson, Robt. Cunning- 
ham, Joseph Woodrough, A. D. McCormac, D. B. 
Coleman, John Barker, D. D., Henry Snyder, Richard 
Clegg and J. T. W. Auld. Most of these have finislied 
their work in holy triumph. Only two are still on the 
walls of Zion proclaiming the acceptable year of the 

At this session of conference I was appointed col- 
league with Josiah Dillon to the New Brighton cir- 
cuit, Pennsylvania, and crossed the country by private 
conveyance, stopping one night with the presiding eld- 
er, Father Monroe, in Beaver. On arriving at 
Freedom, a principal appointment in the circuit, we 
met with a cordial welcome notwithstanding some dis- 
satisfaction because both the appointees were married 
men. Two preachers with two wives were more than 
they had bargained for. Money was scarce and the 
outlook rather forbidding. A good Brother McCon- 
nell consoled my wife with the thought that probably 


she could afford to wear "six cent calico" before the 
year ended. But nothing daunted, we went to work, 
visiting indiscriminately, and were soon installed in 
the affections of the people. We had a favorable ini- 
tiation through a Sunday school celebration on the 
Fourth of July, where I made the eagle soar in a 
speech full of patriotism and temperance. Entertain- 
ing strong views on the temperance question, we en- 
tered the campaign to win and soon had the satisfac- 
tion of seeing the trafific of rum closed out. The cir- 
cuit was large and required a great amount of labor 
to meet the expectation of the people. Some of our 
meetings impressed me so profoundly that I can never 
forget them. Many of them were very pleasant and 
are garnished with reminiscences which make them 
a delight to contemplate. 

During the early part of our first year on this cir- 
cuit there was a call made by Bishop Janes and Dr. 
Durbin for men to go to California to occupy that open 
field. Father Monroe, my presiding elder, wrote a let- 
ter commending me for the field. He deposited it in 
the post office, but as the mail only left twice a week, 
his letter remained in the office a day or two, during 
which time he relented, and being unwilling to have 
me leave his district lifted the letter of recommenda- 
tion. It was never remailed, and thus I was retained 
on the circuit. 

Among others, we held a very successful camp- 
meeting near Freedom. A great many were convert- 
ed and scores of believers sanctified. Several incidents 
will bear recital. The meeting was attended with a 
display of divine power in a manner not before wit- 
nessed by the oldest Christians in attendance. Sister 
Dillon, wife of my colleague, a very sweet-spirited 
Christian, and Sister John Ansley, another preacher's 


wife, with my wife, were all young in Christian ex- 
perience, as well as in the itinerancy, and were bound 
by these common ties in very dear relation to each 
other, and were wonderfully blessed, as the sequel will 
show. I know the reader will not only pardon the 
writer but thank him for the facts (though personal) 
that are here more minutely narrated, as incidentally 
connected with the meeting. My wife, who was reared 
a Presbyterian, had never been at a camp-meeting. 
Several weeks before the meeting she had a remark- 
able dream. I will allow her to relate it. 

"1 dreamed that there was a great concourse of 
people assembled on a beautiful plateau of ground; 
along one side a shining river ran eastwardly, while 
to the westward seemed to rise a beautiful 
sloping hill covered with stately oaks. The 
earth was carpeted with green. The company 
was shaded by the overhanging branches through 
which gleamed the subdued but clear sunlight 
of a mid-autumn day. All appeared to be filled 
with delight, while with upturned face and expectant 
eyes they were waiting and watching for some strange 
heavenly visitant. I drew near and asked what they 
were looking for so intently. Some one answered that 
they were looking for a dove that was promised to 
come that day, and that on whomsoever it should 
alight there should rest great peace and joy. Each 
one was filled with anxiety to be the first to see it and 
to have it alight on him. Presently a sensation of de- 
light thrilled the throng as it was announced by some 
one of the company, The dove! The dove is coming!' 
I looked intently upward and away in the distance be- 
held a glittering speck as of burnished silver flashing 
in the sunlight. It came circling down in most grace- 


ful motion, seeming to survey every anxious spectator, 
while the vast, excited, breathless throng swayed to 
and fro with outstretched hands inviting the beautiful 
stranger to alight. It reviewed the large crowd with 
apparent satisfaction and then, to my surprise and ex- 
treme delight, perched upon my shoulder and nestled 
close to my face. Several persons pressed forward and 
put forth their hands to secure the dove but it shrank 
from their touch and settled closely down on my 
shoulder. The whole company joined in a shout, 'It 
has come! It has come!' I was so filled with joy that 
I shouted with inexpressible delight and awoke to find 
it but a dream, but so impressive a dream that even 
yet it seems a reality. My effort to shout awoke my 
husband, to whom I related my dream. Whereupon 
he replied that he hoped it was significant and that I 
might receive a visit from the heavenly dove at the 
approaching camp-meeting." 

In due time the meeting began. It was largely at- 
tended. We held noon-day prayer meetings in a large 
tent, usually very much crowded. On one occasion 
Sisters Ansley, Dillon and my wife, neither of whom 
had ever prayed in public, were together in the meet- 
ing. I called on Sister Ansley to pray. She hesitated. 
I urged her to take up the cross. Finally she said in 
the most plaintive voice, "Oh, Lord, help me; I don't 
know how to pray." 

I said, ''Sister, you have made a good beginning; 
go right on and pray." She continued to plead with 
God in such supplicating terms as I had seldom heard. 
All were looking by faith for the fulfillment of the 
promise: "Whatsoever things ye ask, believe that ye 
have them, and ye shall receive them." And the Holy 
Ghost came upon all the company. None shared more 


largely in this baptism of power and glory than these 
three preachers' wives. My wife said to me, "My 
dream is fulfilled"; and for hours she rejoiced and told 
with wonderful clearness and simplicity the amazing 
power and sweetness of saving grace. Many Presby- 
terian ladies, hearing of her remarkable ecstacy and 
joy came to the tent purposely to hear from her own 
lips the glad story of salvation by simple faith. They 
were astonished and delighted to find one brought up 
as they had been testifying in such a manner. 

Soon after this we visited my wife's father and 
mother. She resolved she would tell her mother all 
about her great blessing. When we reached the top 
of the hill overlooking the old homestead her heart 
failed her a little and she said to me, ''I don't know 
how to begin to tell mother." I remarked she must 
not flinch now; that the way to commence would be 
open. On reaching home I said to mother I was 
sorry she had not been at the camp-meeting to have 
witnessed the wonderful blessing her daughter re- 
ceived. Then I retired, leaving the mother and daugh- 
ter alone. My wife related her vision and the in- 
cidents of the meeting, and especially her own rich 
share of the Divine gift. They wept like children to- 
gether and we have every reason to believe that from 
that day mother had a clearer knowledge of the way of 
salvation than ever before. She often said she had 
never heard such an experience, not even from her 
own favorite pastor. Dr. Duncan, of Baltimore. It 
was, indeed, as my wife told it, "The coming of the 
Holy Ghost and of power." 

It was in this circuit that I was called upon to oflfi- 
ciate in ministerial capacity under a reversion of cir- 
cumstances unusually sad, and aptly illustrative of the 


fact that in the midst of life we are in death. In the 
neighborhood a young lady of twenty years of age 
was engaged to be married on a certain day and at a 
special hour. The wedding attire was complete, the 
guests invited, the minister engaged, the bridegroom 
came — to find his betrothed sick unto death. The 
very hour and day that should have sealed their nup- 
tials became the burial hour of the intended bride. It 
was my solemn duty instead of performing the mar- 
riage ceremony to preach a funeral sermon over that 
beautiful young woman dressed in the chaste white 
silk meant for her bridal robe but now become the 
fit burial dress of one whose hopes had faded before 
and into the brighter bliss of a more intimate union 
with Christ. The sad termination of such an engage- 
ment almost crazed the affianced groom, who was only 
consoled by the doctrine of the resurrection of the 
dead and immortality at God's right hand. 




At the close of the first calendar year, as was my 
custom, we held a "watch-night meeting." It was held 
in the Methodist Church in Freedom, Pennsylvania, 
1850-51. We had a very solemn time. The Lord was 
manifestly present. When we went home, very early 
in the morning, we received a telegram (the first in my 
life) from Steubenville, Ohio, saying, "Your father is 
dying and wishes to see you. Come home." He had 
long been a sufferer, but longer a Christian and active 
worker in the church. In addition to my natural af- 
fection for my father and my desire to be with him in 
the closing scene of life I had long cherished a desire 
to know how his faith would endure that severest of 
all tests, for I knew he would not deceive his children, 
and that he could not be deluded into a false trust or 
confidence, much less a false profession. We hastened 
to his bedside by the first steamer, as we did not have 
railroad communication. 

On arriving we found father still alive. As I opened 
the door of his room he stretched forth his pale, thin 
hands, exclaiming: "My son, come while I tell you 
what great victory I have through our Lord Jesus 
Christ! Glory, glory to His precious name! The fear 
of dying is all taken away and I have perfect peace 
with God, and peace with all mankind. Preach a com- 
plete salvation, a full and perfect and finished salva- 
tion, in Jesus Christ our Lord." 


Subsequently he said, "Satan has tempted me more 
severely than ever before in my life. He has tried to 
persuade me to trust in my good works and devotion 
to the church, and it has been a struggle to give up all 
these, but Jesus Christ is my only hope, Christ in me 
the hope of glory. Tho' Satan tempted me that the 
Savior would forsake me, I have had victory over 
that fear. He will never forsake me. Perfect love 
casteth out all fear, which hath torment." 

He repeated and with effort sang parts of sacred 
hymns which he always admired, one of which I re- 
member hearing him sing when a child : 

''My span of life will soon be done, 
* The passing moments say; 
As lengthening shadows o'er the mead 
Proclaim the close of day. 

Courage, my soul; thy bitter cross 

In every trial here 
Shall bear thee to thy heaven above, 

But shall not enter there. 

Courage, my soul; on God rely; 

Deliverance soon will come; 
A thousand ways has Providence 

To bring believers home." 

He also repeated the words of that glorious sonnet 

"How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, 
Is laid for your faith on His excellent word." 

And dwelt with manifest satisfaction upon the soul- 
stirring words: 


"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, 
That saved a wretch Hke me, 
- I once was lost, but now Vm found, 
Was bhnd but now I see. 

'Twas. grace that taught my heart to fear. 

And grace my fears reheved. 
How precious did that grace appear. 

The hour I first beHeved!" 

The scene was so overwhelming and inspiring that I 
have never doubted the power of Jesus to save to the 
uttermost, and to the close of life. 

Father lingered until the 4th of January, 185 1, dur- 
ing which time he was in constant ecstacy, frequently 
shouting the praises of God until his strength would 
be exhausted. His triumph and his experience were 
truly glorious. In the afternoon of the fourth day 
after my arrival, at about 4 o'clock, we were all gath- 
ered in the room where our mother had fallen asleep 
in Jesus on the 7th day of September, 1837, saying, 
"Jesus is mine and I am His," to witness the closing 
event of a life which was to us more a comment on 
Christianity than anything else. For this had always 
been our father's theme, and had led to an exemplifi- 
cation of it in his every day life in the most familiar 
and endearing relations of the family. He was now 
evidently and rapidly approaching the "Valley of the 
shadow of death." We gathered close to his bedside 
to catch the last utterances from his faltering tongue. 
None but those who have been blessed with such a 
father and who have been called to mourn his decease 
can appreciate our anxiety at that moment. His sight 
had evidently failed for he asked, "Who is in the room? 
Are you all here? " My oldest brother answered, "We 


are all here, father. Do you want anything?" He 
answered, "No." Then raising his hand and passing 
it over his sightless eyes he said: 

'Tt is dark here, but glory is bright." 

And the weary wheels of life stood still. 

Angels caught the redeemed soul of our father in 
their loving arms and bore him to his home on high. 
To us all, but to me especially, it was a deeply solemn, 
gloriously triumphant hour. I have never since that 
hour felt like shouting the praises of God as then. It 
was victory, triumph over the last enemy by faith in 
our Lord Jesus Christ. The grave has lost its gloom 
and terror, and death his venomous sting. Since then 
Christ is dearer and heaven has been nearer. We 
made his grave beside our mother's, under the spread- 
ing branches of the old chestnut tree in the grave- 
yard whose dust is sacred to the sainted dead, who 
sleep in hope of immortality. 

I returned to my work a more sanctified and better 




Twas called upon shortly to preach in a Calvinistic 
neighborhood near the seat of Rapp's colony of 
Economists in Butler County, Pennsylvania. When 
I arrived at the neighborhood school-house I met a 
goodly company assembled to hear what had never 
been heard there, a Methodist sermon. I chose for 
my text the eleventh verse of the 119th Psalm, read 
the verse, closed the Bible, and preached a plain but 
practical sermon. The Presbyterians were delighted, 
some regarding it as wonderful that a man could 
preach such a discourse without notes, and especially 
Vv^ith the Bible closed. The truth sanctified and ap- 
plied by the Holy Ghost led several persons into a 
clear Christian ex^jerience, and many became my 
regular hearers and fast friends. 

^ ^ ^ * ;}: >i< ^ 

While we were stationed at the beautiful little town 
of Freedom, in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, about 
three miles above the confluence of Big Beaver with 
the Ohio river, our home was blessed by the arrival 
of a little boy, our first born, whom we named for his 
grandfathers, John William. His birth occurred on 
the second day of June, 185 1. His arrival was a mat- 
ter of unusual moment to the young circuit rider and 
his wife, as may be expected, and was also hailed with 
satisfaction and delight by our members, all of whom 
took a greater interest in us on this account, if this 
were possible, and were exceedingly kind to us in our 
initial parentage. 

Freedom was chiefly given over to the business of 



steamboat building. While here I launched on one of 
the finest of the numerous craft built there for the river 
trade, the ''Jol^^ J- Simons," a boat upon whose decks 
I subsequently, eleven years later, took a company of 
contrabands from the Southern armies of the Union 
to homes of liberty in Kansas and Nebraska. 

Our first son, whose portrait is given, is engaged 
in mercantile pursuits — a dealer in coal. For many 
years he engaged in farming on the "home farm" in 
Atchison County, but subsequently engaged in other 
pursuits in the city of Atchison, of whose council he 
was one term a member, and where he was for several 
years secretary and treasurer of the Pomeroy Coal 
Company, with yards and offices at Atchison, Topeka 
and Lincoln, Nebraska. For many years he has been 
a devoted Christian and an active and efficient worker 
in the church and Sabbath school. In recent years 
he has been deprived of the pleasure of regular church 
work because away from home most of the time, but 
he still delights in the service and church of his God. 

Having spent two years on this circuit I was re- 
turned to Ohio and put in charge of Lima circuit with 
''one to be supplied." The circuit had thirteen ap- 
pointments, with a membership of nearly five hun- 
dred, scattered over a territory twenty miles wide by 
thirty miles long. This territory included the hot- 
bed of infidelity in Ohio. The noted ''Come-out-ers," 
Abby Kelly, Foster, and H. C. Wright, had traveled 
the whole field, disseminating infidel doctrine, de- 
nouncing the church and the Bible, ministers, and 
the marriage contract as intolerable and to be re- 
pudiated. Abby Kelly, who had been a member of 
the Quaker church, was a woman of considerable in- 
telligence and will, with fair address and force of char- 


acter. She formed the center of attraction for a 
crowd of rude and irreHgious people who composed 
her following. She and Foster traveled together, 
being entertained by those who, like themselves, held 
to very radical views relating to liberty from customs 
growing out" of the marriage relation. But in some 
places public sentiment was so severely against the 
example of this free and easy way of evading the law 
of God and man that they finally formed a kind of 
''Hicksite-Quaker" copartnership, in the town of 
New Brighton, Pennsylvania, at the house of one Town- 
send, after which I believe they were recognized as 
man and wife, he being a kind of appendage or con- 
venience, as is sometimes the case with strong-minded 
Vvomen and wxak-minded men. Their teaching and 
example were subversive of morality and good order, 
because well suited to the baser passions of the human 
heart. Wright had been a local preacher in the 
Methodist Church, but left it and joined the ranks 
of the ''Come-out-ers." The whole territory of the 
circuit of which I was placed in charge was poisoned 
with the false and vicious teaching of these people. 

About the time I was sent to this circuit the Misses 
Fox, of Rochester, New York, began their spirit rap- 
pings — the origin of spiritualism in America — which 
was also a part of this infidelity. Abby Kelly and 
company had well prepared the way for this new 
theory and irreligion. Some incidents connected 
therewith will furnish a faint idea of the state of 
society under such influences. 

Not far from Freedom, one of my appointments in 
Stark County, Ohio, there was an old log church, 
called Rucker's Church. It was arranged to hold in 
this house a convention of the infidels and sympath- 


izers to consider what should be done relative to this 
new development called ''Spirit Rappings" or Spiritu- 
alism. Thq appointment was made, the evening 
came, and with it a crowd of curiosity seekers. The 
old house was lighted in the rudest manner by the 
use of the light of past ages, tallow "dips" or candles. 
These were fastened here and there against the jambs 
of the windows by pocket-knives, while for front lights 
a board resting on the stand and window-sill sup- 
ported several candles. Behind this were seated the 
leaders in the movement with a tall son of Anak, 
called Johnson, "the first letter of whose name" was 
"Jep." Acting as chairman, this young man was 
chief operator and held himself with much dignity. 
The company was a motley one, composed of railroad 
-graders, "Come-out-ers," strong-minded old and 
young w^omen, some of whom were dressed in bloom- 
ers, and young men with very long hair parted in the 
middle, easily and almost entirely covering the lim- 
ited brains in their peanut-shaped craniums. Besides 
these there were numerous old moral cripples who 
had "come out" to the great relief of several churches. 
These, with a sprinkHng of unbeHevers, came to hear 
and see what the "Spirit had to knock." And they 

The president began to state the object of the 
meeting to be the consideration of these new develop- 
ments at Rochester, when a faint "Rap, Rap, Rap," 
was heard, as if immediately behind the president. 
At first all present were startled. Then came silence. 
By and by the president opened his astonished mouth 
to say that it was indeed mysterious; that they had 
met to consider this strange subject, and it appeared 
that the spirits were verily present; whereupon with 
greater vigor and emphasis than before the obtrud- 


ing spirit gave its mystic "Rap, Rap, Rap," and all 
was again as silent as death. Cheeks were blanched, 
eyes flashed astonishment and surprise, knees quaked 
and smote together, all were amazed. Presently some 
one ventured to ask, ''What do you want to com- 
municate?" When, with greater vigor than before 
and much more deliberately and determinedly was 
heard the mystic "Rap, Rap, Rap," followed now by 
a most unearthly "Yeaow, Yeaow, Yeaow , Rap!" 
This brought the house to their feet and the president 
in gathering himself up overturned the board, up- 
setting every candle and extinguished most of the 
light. This served as a signal for a grand stampede, 
and out the door and through the windows went the 
astonished crowd, flying in every direction, some 
praying, others crying, while the Irish Catholics called 
on the "Howly Virgin" to pity Pat, and to forgive him 
for being at "sich a divil of a matin." One poor fel- 
low who had recently been married, forgot his wife 
in his fright and ran as for his life. When he came 
back he found she had fainted for very fright, and 
was lying by the deserted house just recovering con- 
sciousness. When the truth was known the obtrusive 
spirit which had caused this confusion was none other 
than the materialized animus of an overgrown feline 
with a split stick on his tail which he used as a wrap- 
per, and with which he had given a first-class "Spirit- 
rapping" seance, supplementing his efforts with the 
unearthly "Yeaow" which a Tom cat alone can give. 
Thus equipped and prepared for action some mis- 
chievous boys had dropped him through a broken 
window just behind the president's chair, to become 
the innocent cause of the sudden dissolution of the 
first and last spiritualistic gathering in all these parts. 


The insolence of this class of people so outraged 
society that occasionally it had to be checked by law. 
There lived near Goshen Church two families named, 
respectively, Jenkins and Gibson, who, following the 
false teaching of the ''Come-out-ers" and spiritualists, 
disregarded the sanctity of the marriage relation with 
such contempt that the civil authorities were com- 
pelled to interpose. They were brought in bloomers 
before Esquire Simeon Card, one of my class leaders, 
and were the first real spiritualists I had ever seen. I 
would they had been the last! The end was in dis- 
grace and death — like Herod, they were eaten of 

We were compelled to meet these evils squarely 
and deal with them plainly from the pulpit. This 
sometimes led to public encounters. But truth, al- 
ways mighty, prevailed, and the people were saved 
from the example of this heresy and ruin. 

A very delightful occurrence took place while I 
was holding a protracted meeting at Marleborough. I 
was assisted by my old friend. Uncle Jimmie Arm- 
strong. We held a meeting which was growing in 
interest, but which was much hindered by the clamor 
of want of union. There came to the neighborhood 
an itinerant Quaker preacher and his traveling com- 
panion, visiting the Quaker churches. It was an- 
nounced that he would preach In the Friends' church 
at II o'clock a. m., and we were invited to attend the 
meeting. Uncle Jimmie, Brother John Swarts, and 
myself attended the services to hear a Quaker 
preacher for the first time. He preached a very 
orthodox sermon on the Resurrection of the Dead. I 
felt impressed with a desire to have him preach for 


my congregation. I told Uncle Jimmie I was going 
to ask him to preach for us. He repHed, *'0, it's no 
use. He won't do it." But I said, "V\\ see." 

So I went up to the preacher and assuming as much 
of the plain language as I could command, I said, 
''I am a Methodist preacher. We are holding a pro- 
tracted meeting in Marleborough and I would like to 
have thee preach for me tonight. We will give thee 
the hour, and thee can do as the spirit leads thee." 

He replied very kindly, ''I will be very glad to 
preach for thee." 

Notice was given and an invitation extended to the 
congregation to attend. When the hour for services 
came the house could not contain those who were 
anxious to enjoy such a union service. The Quakers 
came in great numbers and sat with hats on, present- 
ing a strange appearance in a Methodist church. 1 
told the preacher we would dispense with singing 
until the sermon was over, the hour was his. He 
prayed and sat down. All was as quiet as the grave. 
Then he arose and quoted a text or two of Scripture 
as a starting point and proceeded to preach a very 
evangelical sermon. In the midst of one of the most 
eloquent passages, in which he referred in beautiful 
language to the peaceable nature of the coming King- 
dom of the Blessed Messiah and its near approach, 
and expressed a desire that it might speedily come, 
I was carried away with his eloquence and fervor, and 
endorsing his expressed desire I said "Amen." 

Unused to such responses he was surprised, and 
turning around to me, asked, ''What did thee say. 

I was confused, but had presence of mind enough 
to say, "Go on. Brother, go on." 


Said he, ''What did thee say?" I repHed, "I said 

He righted up and went on. The congregation 
was greatly amused and I felt woefully embarrassed. 
The Preacher finished well without any more of my 

While he was closing his sermon my mind was at 
work on how best to utilize the occasion. I knew 
all the Quakers were abolitionists and I had a good 
subject. So I determined I would take them with 

I arose and said: "A strange thing has occurred in 
Marleborough tonight. The quiet Quakers and 
noisy Methodists have held a meeting together and 
all ye are witnesses it has been a glorious meeting. 
And now I am going to ask Uncle Jimmie to sing 
the first hymn." 

I gave him a sign and he promptly arose, attracting 
every eye and stood while I remarked that any who 
did not wish to hear him could retire. Every one 
remained. Uncle Jimmie struck the tune known as 
''Exhortation," singing, 

"O, for a thousand tongues to sing, 
My great Redeemer's praise, 
The glories of my God and King_, 
The triumphs of his grace." 

He sang as only he could sing. Under an inspira- 
tion every heart was moved. The whole company 
was swayed by this grand old hymn and tune sung 
by this dusky son of Methodism, as by the magic of 
a master. 

When he had sung the last line I invited all to join 
in prayer and called on Uncle Jimmie to lead. Such 


a prayer had never been heard by that company, a 
prayer most eloquent and effective. 

When it was over I stepped to the front of the 
altar to announce the appointments for the following 
evening, when the Quaker preacher came out of the 
pulpit and threw his arms around me and said 
audibly, "O, my brother, it is good to be here." 

That meeting still lives and it will never be for- 
gotten. Its far-reaching influence cannot be esti- 

This occurred in 1852 and in 1864, as I returned to 
Kansas from general conference at Philadelphia (of 
which body I was a member as a delegate from the 
Kansas conference) I met in. the cars at Yellow Creek 
Station, Ohio, an itinerant Quaker preacher and his 
traveling companion. In the course of our journey 
I fell into conversation with them and learned that 
they were on a trip of visitation to the churches and 
were then going to Maryborough. I related to them 
the above incident, when they both rose to their feet 
and, grasping me warmly by the hand, exclaimed 
with unusual emotion for Quakers: 

"Is it possible thee is the man that treated our 
Brother so kindly? We have heard him describe the 
singing and the singer, and the wonderful prayer, and 
the meeting, but we never expected to see the man 
that took such part in that interesting meeting." 

They said that the relation of the incident pleased 
their friends ver^^ greatly. We had a joyful time 
talking over an incident of more than twelve years' 
standing. So far as I have been able to learn it was 
the first of the kind that occurred wherein Methodists 
and Quakers united in such a way to worship our 
common Savior and God. 


At Mount Union, Stark County, one of my then 
appointments, there had been commenced a college 
three or four years previously, which is one of the 
many important institutions of Ohio. The president, 
Dr. O. N. Hartshorn, is a remarkable man, self-made 
m a striking sense, his whole life one of self-reliance 
Coming up from obscurity and through poverty he 
has achieved wonders and assisted thousands of poor 
young men and women to the acquirement of an edu- 
cation and peculiarly fitted them for usefulness in life 
During my pastorate on the circuit I held four pro- 
tracted meetings at this place, resulting in the con- 
version of more than one hundred of the students of 
the college. This was the beginning of active, open, 
effective Christian work in this locality, which was 
surrounded by infidel influences. In all these meet- 
ings I was heartily seconded and largely helped by 
all the professors, who continued to be a willing work- 
ing band of Christian laborers. Every year since re- 
vivals have been enjoyed at this seat of Christian 
learning, resulting in the conversion of thousands 
of precious souls. The college is still sending men 
and women into every open field of usefulness. It 
was the first to adopt the co-education of the sexes, 
and from beginnings so small has gained upon popu- 
lar sentiment until it has won its way to the front 
rank and today stands among the leading colleges of 
the West, owing much of its success to its decided 
religious caste and the faith and faithfulness of its 

After more than twenty years absence from that field, 
ten of which were spent in Kansas, I returned to the 
Pittsburg conference and was made corresponding 
secretary of Mount Union College, in which relation 
I remained until called of the church and by the 


Bishop to a field of vast moral importance. My early 
associations with this college as a religious instructor 
and helper so cemented my affections to the professors 
and institution that I still love to think, speak, pray, 
and write about them and its success. 

When my time was up at Freedom we were assigned 
to a charge including North Benton, Mahoning 
County, Ohio. This was a pretty hamlet surrounded 
by well cultivated fields and beech and hickory forests. 
These abounded in game of various kinds, including 
flocks of wild turkeys. The circuit was thirty miles 
long and twenty miles wide, the parsonage being lo- 
cated at North Benton. Our removal was accom- 
plished in part by rail and in part by wag- 
on, and when we paid our teamsters our sole 
remaining funds in cash were three old fash- 
ioned copper cents. It was three months till quart- 
erly meeting and we were among strangers. 
Furthermore, our larder was illy supplied with the 
necessaries of life. Such an experience would be ac- 
counted an unusual hardship even by a Methodist 
itinerant in these days, but it was not uncommon then. 

When the situation became known to one of the 
stewards, Brother John Carter, he called to his aid 
Brother Henry Lewis and we were soon supplied, 
through their efforts and the kindly responses of the 
members of the local charge, with all that was neces- 
sary for our comfort. 

There were thirteen appointments on this circuit, 
embracing, ail told, about three hundred members. 
The people were unusually considerate of the needs 
of their pastor and his little family, and took excellent 
care of us all over the circuit. My work was success- 



ful, it including thirteen protracted meetings during 
the first year and eleven the next. 

Our second son, Charles Edmund, his second name 
being given him because of my love and admiration for 
Bishop Janes, was born during our residence in North 
Benton, on the seventh of March, 1853. I had been 
attending a special meeting sixteen miles from home 
and upon my return found the parsonage enlivened 
by the presence of this little black-eyed stranger. His 
coming greatly endeared us to the people, as he was 
the first new-comer ever arriving at the North Ben- 
ton parsonage. 

This son studied medicine, graduating at Detroit 
in 1872 and again in Cincinnati in 1875. He has also 
attended post-graduate study in New York and 
abroad, and has taken high rank in his profession. 
He early removed to Texas for his health, remaining 
there until 1893, when he removed to Chicago, where 
he now resides. He has been president of the Texas 
Homeopathic Medical Society, as also of the Southern 
Homeopathic Medical Association and, in 1895, of the 
American Institute of Homeopathy. It was my pleas- 
ure to attend the annual meeting of the latter body at 
Newport, Rhode Island, in June of last year, over 
which he presided. This doctor-son is editor of a 
prominent medical journal, the Medical Century, 
author of a standard work on Diseases of Children, 
and joint-author and editor of a large composite text- 
book of surgery. He has also served with distinction 
as a professor of surgery in one of Chicago's medical 

At the close of my pastorate on the Limaville and 
Alliance circuit I was appointed to the Sewickly 
charge, in Pennsylvania. Here we spent a very 


pleasant year with a good degree of success. We 
finished a neat church, which had been commenced 
by my predecessor, Rev. Albert G. Williams, and 
Bishop Simpson dedicated it in his inimitable style. 
A pompous brother was to preach at 3 p. m. He an- 
nounced that he would "endeavor to follow the Bishop 
at a deferential distance," and he did follow at a very 
deferential distance, and without special endeavor, 
too, greatly to the innocent amusement of the people. 

On this charge we held successful meetings at Hop- 
kins Chapel, where several persons were converted. 
Here we beheld the unusual sight of a beautiful rain- 
bow by moonlight. 

At Blackburn Chapel we held a meeting of great 
good to the many who attended. One evening there 
were eight or nine adults kneeling as seekers of salva- 
tion at the altar. A spirit of solemn supplication pre- 
vailed. The pastor's wife passed along from one end 
of the altar to the other, encouraging the seekers, 
with appropriate quotations and promises, and in less 
than ten minutes the whole number by faith entered 
into a joyful Christian experience and testified to the 
power of Christ to save those who believe. I seldom 
if ever witnessed such remarkable unanimity in belief 
and such simultaneous believing and rejoicing. 

Sewicklyville had for a long time prior to our com- 
ing, presented a striking example of "how great a 
fire a little matter kindleth." Two otherwise good 
men had had a financial transaction about which they 
had disagreed, and for years they had kept the church 
in perpetual turmoil, until I finally succeeded in 
getting them to arbitrate their difificulties — to find 
that it was all about sixty-two and a half cents. 

At the close of one year in the Sewicklyville charge 


I was removed to what proved to be the most pleasant 
station I ever filled, viz., McKeesport, Pa. This was 
a beautiful town at the junction of the Monongahela 
and Yougheogheny rivers. Dr. Isaac N. Baird was 
my presiding elder. During the first year I united 
with the resident ministers of other denominations in 
a course of fifteen lectures on the Evidences of Chris- 
tianity. There was much intemperance prevalent 
and a strong band of infidels, thoroughly organized 
in a club. This club held regular meetings for the 
purpose of reading what they termed 'The Infidels' 
Bible," viz., Payne's Age of Reason, and other similar 
books. The club was popular, and was exerting a 
widespread influence among the young men of the 
town and neighborhood. Our course of lectures was 
designed to offset this plausible plan of the enemy 
and save the young men from infidelity. There were 
in the Baptist pulpit Dr. Penny and Dr. Remington; 
in the Presbyterian pulpit Dr. Nathaniel West, a man 
of learning, who was the author of "The Analysis of 
the Bible," and in the reformed Presbyterian church 
a Mr. Wallace. These brethren gave their best time 
and thought to the preparation of their lectures. 
From the beginning the course was so popular that the 
largest church in the town was crowded, and at the 
close of the third lecture, which I had the responsi- 
bility of preparing and delivering, Mr. Isaac Wam- 
pler, the president of the infidel club, arose in the 
midst of the vast audience and moved the lecture just 
delivered (which was on the Insufficiency of the Light 
of Nature as a Rule of Moral Conduct, and the Ne- 
cessity of a Divinely Authorized Revelation of God's 
Will) be requested for publication in pamphlet form, 
and that he and his friends would pledge the payment 
of the cost of publication. His motion vvas seconded 


by another noted unbeliever, and put by Dr. West, in 
whose church the lecture was delivered, and unani- 
mously adopted. The lecture was published accord- 
ii>gly, and was the means of doing much good. The 
infidel club never held another meeting, and at the 
close of these lectures many who were recorded un- 
believers at the beginning became Christians, living 
and dying in the gospel of peace. 

The churches had not only rest, but prosperity. 
Mr. Wampler became a member of the Presbyterian 
church, and Captain James Henderixson, Daniel Pol- 
lard, and other members of the club became members 
of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

At Pine Run, some three miles above McKeesport, 
on the Monongahela river, we had a class of twelve 
members. With the efficient help and liberality of 
the class leader, Brother John O'Neal, I built a beauti- 
ful church, which was dedicated by Bishop Simpson. 
Our members here increased until the Society at the 
close of my pastorate, numbered eighty, with a flour- 
ishing Sabbath school. 

During my pastorate here, on the 25th of May, 
1856, our third son, Joseph Clarence, was born. He 
early became a devout and consistent Christian, and 
lived long enough to give great promise of useful- 
ness, but was cut ofif in the midst of his preparation 
for life work by a very short illness, at Olathe, Kansas, 
before he attained his eighteenth birthday. 

Our home in McKeesport was a delightful one, and 
the people were exceedingly kind and considerate. 
The town was picturesque and lovely, its situation 
being at the confluence of two of Pennsylvania's 
beautiful rivers. We spent two of our most delight- 
ful years in gospel work in this charge. 

^1#-v '^^--^l^ 





In McKeesport there was a family by the name of 
Ludwick, most of them being very devoted members 
of the Methodist Church, though formerly Lutherans. 
They had built a large and beautiful flour mill, one of 
them being an experienced millwright and practical 
miller. He was a Lutheran. The day before the mill 
was to be tested was "Communion Sabbath." I had 
preached in the evening and administered the Holy 
Sacrament, of which a large company partook. It 
was a very solemn occasion. When we were about to 
formally finish the services I was profoundly impressed 
that there were others who should, on that occasion, 
commune. I urged upon the people their privilege 
and duty, with an inexpressible feeling that to some 
it would be the last time for such opportunity. While 
I was yet speaking this man arose, and coming to the 
altar knelt alone, and received with great solemnity 
the emblems of his Savior's passion and death. There 
was a holy reverence resting upon the entire audience, 
and he retired, his face bathed in tears. The follow- 
ing morning, very early, he went to the mill, only a few 
rods from his house, started the machinery to test it, 
and soon after was found in the lower story, where 
he had gone to adjust a wedge in the driving wheel, 
dead. Evidently his adz, which he had used in setting 
the wedge, had been caught by one of the swiftly 
revolving wheels and dashed with deadly eflfect against 


the side of his head, producing instantaneous death. I 
hurried to his house while yet the warmth of hfe was 
left, and when I entered the room where his body lay 
his aged father and mother and wife and little children 
were in tears of anguish. My coming in awakened 
the memories of the evening past, and one of them ex- 
claimed, "Oh, what a comfort it is to think that the 
last public act of his life was to acknowledge his Sav- 
ior! Now the Savior has acknowledged him before 
His father and the holy angels!" 

"Oh," said his wife, "I can bear the parting, in the 
hope of bHssful and eternal reunion." 

Just at the close of the second year a most horrible 
double murder occurred above McKeesport, and 
nearly opposite my appointment at Pine Run. The 
parties murdered were an old couple who were living 
alone on a little farm, and had accumulated a few hun- 
dred dollars, which they had laid by in their house. 
This became known to a girl who was a niece of the 
old couple and whose name was Charlotte Jones. She 
became acquainted with a young Canadian, Henry 
Fife, and his accomplice in the crime, one Stewart. 
They planned the murder, and this trio of desperate 
characters, on their way to its execution, passed under 
my window, looking in where I was counting my mis- 
sionary collection and other conference moneys, pre- 
paratory to starting to conference next morning. 
They did not molest us, however, but before daylight 
had killed and robbed the two old and helpless people. 
The man, Fife, and Charlotte Jones expiated their 
crime on the gallows in Pittsburg, while Stewart was 
reported as having died of smallpox. I have always 
believed that some other person died of the disease 
and he escaped, by means of unlawful influences. 


Conference met the next day after this horrible 
murder, in Monongahela City, Bishop Simpson presid- 
ing. I had finished a successful two years' pastorate 
and the second day of conference the Bishop informed 
me that I might write to my wife that we were going 
to South Common Church in Allegheny City. On 
Monday following a committee from Birmingham 
called on the Bishop and requested that I should be 
sent to their station, to ''take them out of the drag," 
as they said. They had a dilapidated church, in an 
out-of-the-way place, their congregation was run 
down, and though they had been trying for six years 
to change their condition it grew worse from year to 
year. The Bishop ofifered other names, but the com- 
mittee hung for their first request. Having told me 
early that I was to go to South Common the Bishop, 
in the kindness of his great heart sent for me and very 
tenderly informed me of th^ Birmingham request and 
stated that he did not want to make the change with- 
out my concurrence, but he thought I could save our 
church interests in Birmingham, and as he was living 
in Pittsburg he desired the churches in and around 
the city to be put on a firm and healthy basis. 

"I have always had a very profound respect for 
Episcopal authority," I said, ''Bishop Simpson, you 
have the authority and the responsibility. I will obey 

As a result I was sent to Birmingham. My wife, 
though a heroine, felt afflicted at the change, but we 
went promptly and cheerfully, sending word in ad- 
vance that I was coming to build a new church. This 
was taken by some as a jest. When we went to church 
on Sunday morning our little four-year-old boy, 
Charles Edmund, coming in sight of the old, dilapi- 


dated church, stopped short, and said, with character- 
istic vim: 'Ta, if I were you I would not preach in 
such a dirty old church as that. I'd go back to Mc- 

The congregation was very small, and sadly dis- 
couraged, but we had a melting service at the very be- 
ginning. Good Brother Fawcett came up immedi- 
ately after service, and with tears on his cheeks, said 
to me: 

''Brother Fisher, thank God! I love to see the peo- 
ple wiping ofif" while the tears ran down his own face. 
Many who were present wept with joy. The Sabbath 
school was very badly disorganized, but we began 
hopefully to plan and work. I arranged a series of 
cottage prayer meetings in the homes of the people, 
and appointed various leaders, giving each one some- 
thing to do and directing that family worship be es- 
tablished everywhere. It was not many weeks until 
our little meetings had to be transferred to the lecture 
room of the old church and these, in turn, grew to be 
crowded. The Lord gave us favor in the eyes of the 
people, and I was enabled to buy a corner lot, right 
next to one our people had bartered away many years 
before, on which we soon began the erection of what 
is now Birmingham Street Methodist Church, which 
has been a center of power for years. It is in the very 
heart of the town, where the great manufacturing in- 
terests are. 

But our chief energy and attention was directed to 
the conversion of souls. A deep religious feeling pre- 
vailed at every meeting, and in the families at pastoral 
visitation members of the family would often leave 
the room at close of prayer, their faces bathed in tears. 
The congregation grew until every seat, even pulpit 


and altar, would be full to overflowing. A gracious 
revival began. Over tw^o hundred and fifty souls were 
converted. I received above two hundred and thirty 
names, numbers of which remain on the roll till the 
present time. On one Sabbath day there were ninety- 
six of these dear people called around the altar and re- 
ceived into full connection at one time, the largest 
number I have any knowledge of ever having been re- 
ceived at one time into the church up to that date. 
The scope of the revival was such that leading mem- 
bers in other churches desired their ministers to invite 
seekers to an anxious seat, or "mourners' bench," and 
they declining, were removed. 

Thus four settled pastors were unsettled, simply be- 
cause they would not unite in this glorious work. The 
work in the Methodist Episcopal Church went on. 
The town was shaken, and very many rejoice yet that 
they enjoyed the privileges of that meeting. 

We had the new church walls up, roof on, spires 
partly finished, a grand Sunday school, several side 
appointments, and these hundreds of converts to look 
after. Our classes were of the Wesleyan type, full of 
fire and love. Conference came, and everybody was 
expecting my return to Birmingham. They were pay- 
ing me a good salary. The work was really in its most 
important, if not most precarious, state. Conference 
met at Cambridge, Ohio. My wife accompanied me 
to Steubenville to visit friends. On our way we 
learned, to our surprise and consternation, that Bishop 
Jaynes had written from Kansas that Leavenworth 
City was left to be supplied, and that he desired my 
transfer and appointment to that charge. I could not 
have been more surprised if it had been proposed to 


have sent me to China. Bishop Simpson was sick 
nigh unto death. Bishop Baker presided. 

The letter of Bishop Janes was sent to Bishop 
Baker, who, on the first day of conference invited me 
to his room, read the letter, and asked me what he 
should do in the case. I told him all about my Bir- 
mingham work, and said I could take no responsibility 
in the case. The matter was laid before the cabinet. 
Eight presiding elders were opposed, while D. P. Mit- 
chell thought I ought to go. Rev. Sylvester Burt 
offered to go to Leavenworth for a year, and I was to 
follow. Rev. D. P. Mitchell offered to resign his office 
as presiding elder and go in my stead, but Bishop Bak- 
er said: "They have asked for Brother Fisher, and if 
I send any one I'll send him." 

So it stood till the last hour of conference. Rev. S 
E. Babcock, who had taken me into the church when 
a boy, came to me and said the Bishop wanted me to 
go but would not send me without my consent. I 
told Brother Babcock to say to the Bishop just what 
he pleased. I would stand it. 

It was at the last moment decided that I should go 
to Kansas. 

Brother Lynch, with whom I stayed, said he suffered 
inexpressible agony over the matter. The people of 
Birmingham were inconsolable. Their disappoint- 
ment was beyond imagining and sorrowful indeed to 
witness. When I preached my farewell sermon I do 
not think if my body had been before the people pre- 
pared for burial they would have lamented more than 
they did at my removal from them. 

mm -^m 





At an early day we embarked on the steamer 
"South America," Captain Shepherd commanding. 
She was advertised for the Upper Missouri River. 
There were no railroads west of the Mississippi River 
at that date, and the Missouri had been patrolled by 
pro-slavery minions to prevent free-state emigration. 
The journey necessitated nearly eighteen hundred 
miles of steamboat travel. The captain, other officers 
and crew and passengers were very kind to the preach- 
er and his family, consisting now of my wife and three 
little boys, aged seven, five and two. Especially were 
the cabin boys attentive to the wants of our little fel- 
lows, and in the genial atmosphere much of the 
tedium of the trip was lifted and the run, though haz- 
ardous from Cairo to St. Louis, because of flood, was 
restful and enjoyable. 

Owing somewhat to the frailty of our craft, which 
was heavily laden, our captain decided to go no far- 
ther than St. Louis and we were so fortunate as to drop 
our lines and 'lay to" immediately in the rear or at the 
stern of the good steamer "Oglesby," a noble craft 
under the command of the son of a Methodist preach- 
er who had introduced Methodism into Illinois. We 
were kindly offered special rates, and at once trans- 
ferred from the "South America" to the "Oglesby," 
bound for Leavenworth City. The captain and crew 


gave us every needed attention to make our voyage 
pleasant, and with admirable success. 

Here I was; I, an outspoken abolitionist, en route 
and nearly to Kansas in the year 1858! All along the 
voyage the difference in improvements, the evidence 
of a different civilization, as between Ohio and Vir- 
ginia, Illinois and Kentucky, had been to me a most 
impressive phase of the advantage of freedom over 
slavery. I was sailing up the river to my future field 
more and more ready and primed to engage in the en- 
counter already so long waged on that soil between 
liberty and bondage. Little did I dream how actively 
the struggle, like an octopus, was to draw me, with 
all who held Kansas dear, into its embrace! 

When we arrived at Leavenworth we found a wel- 
come from our future congregation in the persons of 
George S. Weaver and Jacob Lander, who took our 
boys in their arms, carried them safely ashore, and 
escorted us to a home with Brother and Sister Morris 
Roberts, old parishioners from McKeesport, and who 
— we always suspected — had much to do in our unex- 
pected removal from Birmingham to Kansas. 

A most encouraging instance of the soHcitous affec- 
tion which was to be my portion in my new home be- 
fell us immediately upon our arrival. An elect lady of 
seventy years or more — Mother Day — said to me 
heartily and simply as she grasped me by the hand: 
"Brother Fisher, ever since I heard you were coming 
I have been praying that God would be with you and 
bring you safely to us." Among other loved parish- 
ioners whom we had left behind was one Mother Gar- 
rison, as old and venerable a lady as this one, who had 
said just as we were leaving Birmingham, ^'Brother 
Fisher, I shall not cease to pray that the Lord will go 
with you and bring you safely to your destination." 


Here had been the prayers of these two good old 
Christian mothers outspread over me for a journey 
of eighteen hundred miles, and I wept for joy at the 
thought of the answer to that prayer as a rainbow of 
promise fulfilled! 

I had left the new church approaching completion. 
It would seat eight hundred or more people, the old 
church having accommodated six hundred souls. We 
left a grand congregation, large Sabbath school, good 
house to live in, with a competent salary, and probable 
increase; we had journeyed at our own expense 
eighteen hundred miles — to find twenty resident mem- 
bers, no missionary appropriation, not a foot of ground 
to build a church upon, not a dollar to build with. Yet 
I was expected to build a church and sustain my fam- 
ily on what the people would give. 

My first sermon was to a congregation of less than 
thirty hearers, and that in a little shot-marked school- 
house, seated with rude benches, and very untidy, in- 
deed filthy, with Kansas soil. The whole condition of 
church affairs was so different from those we left that 
the first Sabbath of June, 1858, w^as absolutely the 
"bluest day" I had ever experienced. It was the date 
of my first sermon in Kansas. But as I preached the 
gospel of consolation tears started from many eyes. 
My heart was touched and my tears began to flow. 
I wept because it seemed to me that I had brought 
my wife and three dear boys away out to Kansas to 
starve them to death. It looked so that day. But I 
wept also because I knew Christ, whom I preached, 
was able to deliver all those who would put their trust 
in Him. And before the sermon ended I was con- 
vinced I was in a providential opening, as it evidently 
turned to the good of the church. 


But we had to face difficulties. The 'Town Com- 
pany," being all pro-slavery men, had early resolved 
that the ''Northern Methodist Church," as they called 
it, should not build a church in Leavenworth. We had 
no provision for such grounds, and my society, being 
so weak numerically and financially, had not bought 
a site. Hence we were barehanded and handicapped. 
To add to our trouble, six weeks after our arrival, and 
after I had obtained a good subscription to aid us in 
building a house of worship, a fire originating in the 
greenroom of the theater destroyed the whole busi- 
ness center of the city, including the business of the 
only four persons connected with our church upon 
whom we could depend for substantial help, namely, 
George H. Weaver, H. P. Johnson, R. Newland, and 
Rev. Stewart of Philadelphia. None of these recov- 
ered except Mr. Weaver, who after fourteen years of 
patient toil and great economy re-established a very 
prosperous business. 

Our subscription was wrecked. The struggle we 
had because of poverty and abounding wickedness in 
the city was enough to discourage the most heroic. 
But our necessity was so absolute that we could not go 
back on our plans of work nor could we safely stand 
still. We were compelled to press on to success, or 
forfeit all we had gained. So committing our cause 
to the God of all grace, and confiding in Him, we 
pressed forward to the work. Renewing our effort 
we purchased a lot in the most central part of the 
city, still occupied in 1896, and raised our subscrip- 
tion to the highest point possible. By the request and 
direction of my official board I made a visit abroad, 
succeeded in raising some money and returned to 
cheer my brethren in the good work. A few months 


later I made a second visit, and much farther East, 
which resulted in the raising of considerable means,' 
through great effort, wherewith to sufficiently com- 
plete the church for temporary occupancy. I spent 
several weeks in Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York 
and other cities and towns, while the building went 
slowly on. 

I met with many very interesting and instructive 
incidents in this work, some of which were really en- 
couraging, and their memories are thrilling and re- 
freshing. I was generally well supplied with letters 
of introduction and endorsement by merchants and 
others in official position. I had especially the en- 
dorsement of Bishops Simpson and Ames. One letter 
I bore was to Mr. D. A. January, of St. Louis, from 
Nelson McCracken of Leavenworth. Mr. January 
was a Presbyterian elder. A traveling companion 
from Leavenworth was Rev. Mr. Backus, a Presby- 
terian minister, going East on a mission similar to my 
own. On the way down the river I became familiar 
with the passengers, made known the object of my 
trip, and circulated a subscription book for my church, 
When we arrived in St. Louis I stopped at a hotel 
where charges were light, while Mr. Backus went to 
an up-town hotel where charges were much higher. 

Next morning— "the King's business demanding 
haste"— I went forth early with my letters of introduc- 
tion to Mr. January. He was not in. The porter in- 
vited me to take a chair, gave me the morning paper, 
and I began to read. Presently a very affable gentle- 
man came into the office. I arose and asked, "Do I 
address Mr. January?" 

He extended his hand, and with a smile answered, 
"You do. Whom do I address?" 


I replied, "H. D. Fisher, of Leavenworth, Kansa*, 
a Methodist preacher; and I have the pleasure of bear- 
ing a letter of introduction from our mutual friend, 
Nelson McCracken." 

He read the letter with evident satisfaction, and 
then asked: "What can I do for you?" 

I told him in a few words what the object of my 
visit was, to obtain money to build a church, at the 
same time handing him my book in which my steam- 
boat subscription was recorded. He took it, saying, 
*'I am a Presbyterian, but I will help you what I can 
this morning." 

He wrote his name, put down $20, and handed me 
a twenty dollar bill with many a good wish expressed 
for my success. I was in the act of bowing myself out 
of the ofBce when in stepped Mr. Backus. We recog- 
nized each other and I was about to introduce him 
to my new acquaintance when the latter very kindly 
said, ''I have met Mr. Backus before." 

Without any ceremony Mr. Backus drew from his 
pocket a book, saying as he did so, *'Mr. January, I 
have called to ask a subscription to help pay for a 
Presbyterian church in Leavenworth City." 

Mr. January laughingly replied, "Why, I have just 
given Mr. Fisher tv/enty dollars. That is all I can 
give, and this should teach you not to let a Methodist 
preacher get ahead of you again." 

I replied, "It is not Mr. Backus' fault. It was fore- 
ordained, and I was simply carrying out the orders. 
I am very glad they were in my favor." 

When I arrived in Philadelphia, I found myself In a 
strange city, with but sixty-two and a half cents, hav- 
ing remitted my funds as fast as I collected them. I 
felt that time was everything, and learning that there 


was to be a family gathering, or kind of love feast or 
reunion at Cohocksink M. E. Church, of which Rev. 
Fernly was pastor, I determined to attend and enjoy 
the meeting. As it was an ''Experience Meeting" I 
arose to speak of my Christian experience, and told 
the congregation that as a stranger I wished to bear 
my testimony; that I had been sent by Bishop Baker, 
at Bishop Jayne's request, from Pittsburg conference 
to the Kansas conference, and stationed at Leaven- 
worth; that we had been wonderfully sustained by 
divine grace, and now I was here to raise money to 
help build a church. 

Brother Fernly jumped up and said, ''Come right 
forward, Brother, so the people can see you, and tell 
us all about matters in Kansas." 

I gladly accepted the opportunity of describing just 
what we were trying to do. 

At the close of the meeting Brother Fernly told 
the people to come up and give me all the help they 
could. He and another preiacher began writing the 
names and amounts, but the people came so fast they 
quit writing and just put the money in a hat. To me 
this was a complete surprise, and made me almost 
shout for joy. 

The amount was about sixty dollars, as many dollars 
as I had cents in the morning. 

As I had letters of introduction to merchants down 
town I started to walk in the morning, hoping to see 
at least a few of them before night. A street car came 
along and my first impulse was to ride to save time. 
Then I thought if I did some one who has given their 
money to help will think, "Yes, he can ride at our ex- 
pense." I walked on rapidly until seeing I was losing 
precious time I resolved to ride. So I ran and caught 
up v/ith the car and stepped inside. As I did so a lady 


arose — that is unusual — and extended her hand and 1 
gave her mine, when to my extreme embarrassment 
she held to me saying, "You are the brother from 
Kansas who was at the meeting. I was very much in- 
terested in your remarks and I hope you will get all 
the help you need." I thanked her for her good wishes 
and when she let go my hand she left a five dollar 
gold piece in it. I came very nearly shouting, only 
remembering in time that it would not do to shout in 
a street car in Philadelphia. Yet I dare say if it were 
to happen again I would shout — arrest or no arrest. 

I went at once to the store of a Mr. Townsend, a 
Quaker, to whom I had letters. He gave me twenty 
dollars and I soon sent home a draft for one hundred 
dollars and was very happy. 

The next marked surprise was in Hartford Avenue 
Church, Baltimore, of which Rev. G. W. Cooper, was 
pastor. Dr. D. W. Bartine and Rev. Alfred Cookman 
and I had gone down to Baltimore to aid Dr. Aquila 
Reese and Brother Cooper in protracted meetings. 
Brother Cooper said if I would preach for him I might 
state my case at the close of the sermon and let the 
people give voluntarily. Kansas was not a very savory 
name for Baltimoreans, but I preached and made a short 
statement of my case and of my visit East. Before 
I was through a solid looking old brother rose, hat in 
hand, and started for the door. I thought he was 
offended, and that the "fat was all in the fire." But 
just as I closed my remarks he stopped near the door, 
turned around and sang out: "Brother Cooper will 
take his hat. I've got mine, and we will stand at the 
doors and when you are dismissed you can drop into 
the hats what you wish to give Brother Fisher. Now, 
get out your pocket-books and give liberally." 


Brother Cooper asked me to dismiss the company 
but my emotions overcame me and he pronounced the 
benediction and the people passed slowly out. Broth- 
er Cooper and I walked down the aisle. The old 
brother spread out his bandanna, and dumping the 
contents of the hats into it, said to us, "Now, come 
home with me and get dinner, and we will count the 
collection." We obeyed with pleasure, and after din- 
ner found there was over sixty dollars. Father 
Thomas has ever had my sincerest thanks for this 
pleasant surprise. Doubtless when we meet in heaven 
we will talk it over. 

On Sabbath evening I preached for Dr. Reese in the 
old Exeter Street Church. The sainted Cookman and 
Dr. Bartine had been assisting in his meetings, but up 
to this date there had been no particular signs of re- 
vival, except deep and growing seriousness. There 
was general curiosity awakened to hear a Kansas 
preacher. While I preached Dr. Reese's mother-in- 
law, a saintly woman of great faith, was praying, and 
would occasionally say audibly, "Lord, bless the ser- 
mon." The tide of feeling rose and spread, and as i 
closed Dr. Reese said to me: "Brother Fisher, invite 
mourners to the altar." I did so in a short, earnest 
exhortation. There were a lady and three daughters 
sitting midway in the church. The mother and two 
of the daughters were Episcopalians. The third one 
arose and very deliberately walked up the aisle, the 
tears streaming over her face. When she reached the 
altar railing she put out her hands to steady herself 
in the act of kneeling, and as she paused she looked 
up and cried piteously, "Lord, save or I perish!" In- 
stantly a gleam of light covered her face, and she 
turned in the face of that vast congregation and cried 


aloud, "Glory to God, my sins are forgiven. Where 
is my father? I want him to come and be saved too." 
The scene that followed is indescribable. Men wept 
like children; strong men bowed themselves in prayer. 
The congregation swayed like a forest under a whirl- 
wind. Women shouted the praises of God. The altar 
was soon crowded with seekers of salvation, nearly 
every one of whom was happily converted before the 
meeting closed. It was a remarkable victory. Thus, 
while I was begging money for a Western church God 
was watering my soul and repaying others in spiritual 
benefits for what they bestowed upon us in the way 
of material help. I was learning rapidly the way of 
working in the vineyard. 

Later on I visited a camp meeting near Dover, Dela- 
ware, and preached, making known my mission. While 
here a devout and venerable man who had come a 
long distance to attend the meeting came to me 
and gave me a dollar and seventy-five cents, 
saying he wished it were more but it was all he had 
and he wanted to give it to help plant the church in 
Kansas. I declined to take it, and pressed him to keep 
it to pay his way home. He replied, 'The 
Lord has promised to provide, and he will take care 
of me." At night I preached again, and invited seek- 
ers to the mourners' bench. As I stood in the pulpit 
the good old brother who had given me his last penny 
came to me and opening his hand, said: ''Look here, 
someone put that into my hand just now and disap- 
peared so quickly I did not see who it was." There 
sure enough was double the amount he had given 
me. "Now," said he, 'T know the Lord's promise is 
true," and he actually wanted to give me what he had 
just received. But, strange as it may appear, I de- 


clined it. I have often wondered if I did just right. 
I rather think I did. 

I next visited and preached in Union Square M. E. 
Church, Baltimore. Rev. Brother Chapman was pas- 
tor. The church was large, and had galleries on both 
sides and front and accommodated a large audience. 
The house and galleries were filled. I was describing 
Our Lord's ascension, and the grand pronouncement 
of his benediction, 'Teace I leave with 3^ou; my peace 
I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I," 
while with outstretched hands he ascended and was 
lost to sight, amid the shout of angels and the bright- 
ness of the more excellent glory. The audience 
seemed to catch the inspiration of the Holy One, and 
almost simultaneously arose to their feet, while shout 
after shout rang through the large church. It was a 
most blessed time; many wept for joy in anticipation 
of seeing their ascended Lord in like manner descend 
in the last day. 

I preached also at Shrewsbury camp meeting by re- 
quest of Dr. Henry Sheer, and had among other noted 
hearers, Drs. Sargent, Reese and Littleton Morgan. 
My text was the tenth verse of the tenth chapter of 
Romans. This sermon was so well received that seven 
different Baltimorean pastors requested me to preach 
from this same text, saying, ''Our people have heard 
of your preaching from the text and want to hear for 
themselves." I preached from that same text more 
than fifty times during my visit East. 

After having spent more than six months of inces- 
sant toil and labor in preaching and begging, I at last 
made my way homeward to my wife and dear boys 


who had been well for the most of the time, but had 
had a very hard battle with poverty. 

By the help I raised abroad and $i,ooo I borrowed 
from Brother Fry, of Baltimore, on my own paper, we 
began pushing the church to completion as fast as 
possible. I found services had been suspended during 
my absence, the congregation scattered, and matters 
in a state of general disorganization, except the Sun- 
day school; but we soon rallied, finished the lecture 
room, and gathered in the church and Sunday school 
to a new home. 

The first service we held nine persons joined our 
ranks. We had the best Sabbath school in town, and 
Methodism became so strong and respectable that we 
held the controlling influence in the city, and greatly 
aided other churches to get a foothold. 

There were a few colored persons in Leavenworth 
who affiliated with the Southern Methodist Church, 
but they were not permitted to commune when the 
whites held their sacramental service. Brother 
Pritchard, the pastor, announced that they would hold 
a special service for the "colored population" in the 
afternoon. This was so contrary to my feelings of 
Christian equality that I advised Uncle Moses White, 
his name and soul are white though his skin was very 
black, to come out and organize a church of their own 
people. He was a local preacher, but said they had 
no one to administer the sacrament, as he was not or- 
dained. I told him to go on and organize, and if my 
services were needed I would cheerfully serve them 
until they had a minister of their own. They soon 
organized and at the ensuing conference held at Alton, 
111., the African M. E. Church sent them Rev. John M. 
Wilkerson, an unordained man. Their presiding elder 
lived at a great distance and they unanimously invited 


me to administer the ordinances. Great numbers of 
colored people were seeking^ homes in Kansas and 
their society grew very rapidly. They early resolved 
to build a substantial brick church, just one foot larger 
every way than the church I had built for the white 
people. And they accomplished their work. The two 
churches stand to-day — thirty-six years since erection 
— as monuments of the real grit and liberality of Chris- 
tian people under trying circumstances. Brother Wil- 
kerson and I had the pleasure of remaining to see the 
work in both departments flourishing, and still live to 
labor together in the gospel of peace. 

I had gained much valuable information in Philadel- 
phia, Baltimore, New York, and other cities, and had 
everywhere received from ministers and people the 
greatest degree of kindness and sympathy in my work 
as well as having been greatly aided by their liberality. 

In my visits to the East I demonstrated the need of 
a "Church Extension Society" to encourage liberality, 
and save time and expenses of preachers whose pres- 
ence and labors in their pastoral fields were much 
needed. On this subject I had very interesting inter- 
views with Brother Long, who for many years after- 
ward was Treasurer of the Church Extension Society. 
I wrote the Pittsburg Christian Advocate an article 
advocating the organization of such a society and of- 
fered a resolution in the General Conference of 1864 
which resulted in the appointment of a committee to 
present a plan on this line, the outworking of which 
has been so fruitful in results. 

The loan I obtained from Brother Fry of Baltimore 
of $1,000 was the beginning of our Loan Fund, which 
has become such an efficient source of help to church 




Every new country has had its attractions by which 
emigrants have been drawn thither, and its hardships 
through which they have had to struggle to make 
pio'ueer life successful. 

The South has had its sugar, cotton and rice fields; 
but it had its bogs and swamps and cypress forests. 
The New England states had their granite hills and 
mountains and rigorous climate to impede progress; 
but they have their fitiitful valleys, their living streams, 
whose swiftness furnish an abundance of cheap power 
for factories, their rich fisheries, and their northern part 
its immense pineries. The more western forests, while 
they had to be cleared, furnished timber for house, barn, 
fence, and fuel. But Kansas, in particular, was invit- 
ing mainly for the opportunity ofifered adventurous 
reformers to plant anew the seeds of a higher, broader 
and deeper civilization. Besides her rich and produc- 
tive soil, her salubrious climate, her Italian skies and 
her indescribable sunsets, she was inviting to the 
pioneer as a central and pivotal state. 

The early emigrant was confronted with unusual 
difficulties as he wended his way across her rolling 
surface ^to found for himself and family a home and to 
do battle for the glorious cause of freedom. Here he 
met the border-rufifian bushwhackers from Missouri 
and Arkansas; the little less uncivilized American In- 
dians of the western plains; the terrible droughts and 


famine of i860 and 1861; the hot winds from the 
southern sandy deserts, and here, above all places out- 
side of Egypt, he suffered the indescribable annoyances 
and the losses incident to the devastating swarms of 
locusts known as the Kansas grasshoppers, which 
blighted the face of the earth as they swept in migratory 
tour from their habitat further north to their objective 
point further to the south and west. 

It is no exaggeration to say that no pioneers in all 
this great country have suffered the disastrous series 
of drawbacks which have had to be met and overcome 
by the courageous and enduring Kansan, at least since 
the early days of Indian massacre and witchcraft in 
New England. 

It may be well in passing to attempt a feeble descrip- 
tion of the terrible drought which caused so much 
ruin and distress in i860, just before Kansas was ad- 
mitted to the Union of states. The pioneers of the 
eastern tiers of counties, for the western part of the 
territory was still unknown to civilization, had but re- 
covered from the devastating effects of the border- 
ruffian contest which had been waged from 1855 to 
1858 with more or less of continuance; the black cloud 
of civil war was threatening the entire country; in the 
very nature of things Kansas was destined to suffer se- 
riously, in proportion to her resources, as this great 
cloud should burst upon her; her people were anxiously 
awaiting the coming of those awful events whose com- 
ing was as certain as is the rising and the setting oi the 
sun, realizing that they were to suffer almost beyond 
endurance, yet not flinching from the contests before 
them. It would seem that the territorial population 
had had enough to contend against already, and that 
with the impending internecine struggle immediately 


ahead they might have been spared further tests of 
endurance and suffering. But it was not to be. 

The spring of i860 opened auspiciously. Fields were 
planted and the hardy pioneer went to his work of 
opening up new farming ground and planting new^ 
sod-crops with confidence tliiat the fertile prairie would 
repay him for his toil and privations. But he was to 
be disappointed. As the young crops came .along t»he 
ram fell not. The skies were as clear as the most 
beautiful Italian skies ever depicted by poet or painter. 
The sun shone upon beautiful Kansas with a generosity 
that would have given us the most bountiful harvests 
had not nature forgotten to turn on the water. But 
though the winds blew and the sun shone, and the sky 
was clear, and all nature looked gay enough in the 
spring and early summer, yet for seven long months 
we suffered the horrors of a desert drought. For four 
months consecutively there fell not a drop of rain. 
The country was blighted almost as if by a great prairie 
fire. The grass dried up; the leaves fell from the trees 
as if from the autumnal frosts ; the ground opened with 
great yawnings, by which horses and cattle were often 
stumbled and injured; running streams went dry; the 
rivers became so low that steamers of even the lightest 
draught could navigate them with difficulty; the wells 
and cisterns were soon emptied, and people had to haul 
water for domestic purposes many miles in many in- 
stances; horses, cattle, and even the buffalo on the 
plains died from thirst, the blighting drought being de- 
structive in the extreme upon every living thing. Hun- 
dreds upon hundreds of struggling pioneers were com- 
pelled to exist for months upon the most unsavory and 
unhealthful food, the result being that sickness and 
death added terror to the disaster. 

It is impossible to depict the suffering and distress 


incident to the terrible drought and awful famine of 
i860. So widespread were they that thousands of 
brave pioneers were compelled to return overland to 
their former homes in order to keep from starving. A 
committee of the Kansas Conference of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, in session in Atchison in March of 
1 86 1, reported that careful investigation showed that 
in October of the year previous there were not provis- 
ions enough in the territory, nor the means whereby to 
procure them, to preserve more than half the people 
from starvation, and that most of the population were 
being compelled to Hve on corn-bread and a little salt 
meat. This report was based upon the desire of the 
conference to ascertain, if possible, the status of affairs 
when emissaries were sent East the year before for 
contributions and provisions, in order that the Con- 
ference might properly express its appreciation of the 
assistance which had been given the territory during 
the drought and give its assurance to the charitable 
donors that the benefactions they had bestowed had 
reached their destination and had been properly dis- 
tributed to actual sufferers. It is noteworthy that the 
report of the Conference was to the effect that in al- 
most every instance relief had been judiciously dis- 
tributed, with the result that the aid invoked by pen 
and pulpit had resulted in the saving of untold suffering 
and hundreds of human lives. 

My visit to the East in the interests of church-build- 
ing was in a measure transformed into a tour of the 
states for relief for the drought-sufferers. So severe 
was the situation that I sent for my family and they 
joined mie in Ohio, spending a portion of the period 
covered by the drought with their Ohio friends and 
my wife's parents and mine. As they were compelled 
to flee from famine so were thousands of others. In 


fact, nearly everybody who could get aw^y from their 
business and the disaster which stared them in the face 
left for the season, thus reducing the number who 
would otherwise have had to have relief. The gener- 
osity of eastern people who watched with intense inter- 
est the struggles of the Kansas pioneers was an open- 
handed generosity, and succor came to the distressed 
as fast as the steamers and the overland freight caravans 
could carry it. Senator Pomeroy especially distin- 
guished himself, and won a sobriquet which ever after 
clung tO' him, by soliciting and sending a great many 
carloads of New England beans to the drought-stricken 
district. It was his splendid efforts toward bringing 
relief to his distressed neighbors, more than anything 
else, which made him United States Senator when 
Kansas was admitted to the Union. "Baked Beans" 
Pomeroy was a character in early Kansas history, the 
awful drought affording him an opportunity his gen- 
erous nature took advantage of to assist the territorial 
pioneer at a time when assistance was demanded by 
the highest considerations of humanity. 

Upon returning from Ohio in the fall of that disas- 
trous year we were most plentifully supplied with pro- 
visions for the winter by our friends of the Pittsburg 
Conference and our immediate relatives and friends 
in Steubenville. Crates of cabbage, barrels of potatoes 
and apples, cases of ham and side mieat, canned fruits, 
jells, jams, pickles and other edibles and delicacies 
were showered upon us for ourselves and friends until 
our freight assumed the proportions of that of a green- 
grocer. An'd as our boat swung loose from her moor- 
ings and we departed a second time for our then far, 
far-away Kansas field, our hearts went up in gratitude 
to those who had so bountifully supplied us, and to 
the "Giver of All Good" for His watchful care over 


the people of Kansas during the awful struggle through 
which they had been called to pass. 

The character of the farewell ovation tendered us as 
our good steamer left her wharf at Steubenville made 
it one never to be forgotten. The unsettled condition 
of the Union; the distance we had to travel; the uncer- 
tainty which existed in relation to the struggle that 
was impending between slavery and freedom; the rav- 
ages of drought and the blight and distress of famine, 
combined to make our second embarkation a miemor- 
able one. The steamer came down from Pittsburg on 
Sunday afternoon. I preached a farewell sermon that 
morning, and it was known all over the city that we 
should leave for our mission field that afternoon. When 
the time came all the religious people of the town and 
vicinity who could gather at the wharf were there 
gathered to bid us Godspeed. It was an occasion of 
solemnity. As we boarded the steamer and the gang- 
plank was drawn in the prayers and tears and songs of 
a multitude were commingled. Shouts of hosannah 
and praise went up from hundreds of throats, and the 
songs of the people still ring in our ears, though this 
was neariy forty years ago. Our fellow passengers 
from up the river, the steamboat officers and em- 
ployees, the people on the opposite shore of the river- 
all were intensely interested in the embarkation and 
the scenes attending it. At both ends of the line prayers 
were being offered for our safety and the growth and 
life of the cause which took us from the scenes of our 
boyhood and early ministerial life. Kansas was to be 
free. The Nation was to be free. The martyred Lin- 
coln wias to lay down his life. Hundreds of thou- 
sands of noble lives were to be sacrificed upon liberty's 
altar. A new^ and then far-away country was to be 
opened up to civilization. Great lines of railway were 


to span the continent and supplant the steamboat traffic 
to I'arge degree. The journey of three weeks was with- 
in my lifetime to be reduced to within two days. The 
electric age was an unthought of thing ; hardly had the 
age of steel come in. But the privations to be endured, 
the losses to be sustained, the dangers encountered and 
the labors to be performed were all to be compensated 
for by the goodness of a providence v/hich was directing 
us and the glorious achievements of these forty years 
have fully compensated for all the struggles through 
which we have had to pass as we have labored on and 
struggled on and fought on and prayed on as God 
and the people have built up this splendid Christian 

A short time prior to the return of my family from 
Kansas to Ohio, during the very height of the drought, 
there occurred at Leavenworth, which was then our 
home, one of those awful tornadoes which are known 
to characterize unusually long and severe dry weather. 
It was on the evening of the fourth of July. The day 
had been unusually hot, so that but little interest was 
taken in its celebration. The whole face of the earth 
was parched and burned as if by hot winds from Egypt. 
Not a drop of rain had fallen for months, and the people 
were suffering most terribly. As night came on there 
rose in the southwest a leaden-looking cloud and 
there came on an ominous stillness. For an hour not a 
breath of air seemed to stir, the heat and stillness be- 
coming most oppressive. As nightfall became well 
established it became apparent that something unusual 
was about to happen. The horses and cattle were un- 
usually restless, as if apprehensive ; the fowls wert slow 
in getting settled on their roosts; even the dogs and cats 
about the premises showed signs of impending dan- 
ger, in manifestations of uneasiness and lear. The night 


birds flitted swiftly across the lowering sky and the 
horizon quickly assumed an inky blackness. Out of 
the awful stillness came a sound as of a rushing torrent, 
and there soon sprang up fitful gushes of wind which 
showed that a storm was gathering. Almost before it 
was understood that possible danger lurked near the 
storm broke in mighty fury and spread wide its destruc- 
tion. Houses were unroofed and blown down; the 
county jail was so^ badly damaged that prisoners were 
liberated, only to find death in the path of the tornado; 
trees were torn up by the roots and church spires and 
roofs were demolished; Three-Mile Creek became a 
raging torrent from a dry ravine in a few .minutes, 
sweeping away a number of houses and drowning a 
dozen people; such little garden patches as had been 
nursed through the drought were destroyed by the 
wind and hail and rain; the inky blackness of the night, 
only relieved by the mO'St vivid and blinding flashes of 
lightning, made the situation the more appalling and 
increased the terror of the already greatly alarmied 
people. It seemed as if out of drought -and heat and 
famine had come another destroying power to finish 
the devastation that had been worked upon us. It was 
one of those quickly-come and quickly-go tornados 
which sweep through a narrow stretch of country 
working a harvest of destruction and death, but which 
fail to bring permanent relief from drought. And no 
sooner had the w^aters which fell from the sky swept oflf 
the dry ground into the river beds and been drunk up 
by the cracked and broken earth than was the full force 
of the blight again upon us. Tlie storm which brought 
its rain was but a mockery ; it had also brought death 
and damage, and had aroused the fears of the people 
lest more like destruction should come upon them; 
truly their lot was a hard one, and most truly do I say it 


was a courageous people who endured such hardships 
for the sake of home and Hfe and hberty to this great 

During that awful tornado my wife and children 
were alone,, and as they realized the danger my wife 
knelt with our three little boys near the kitchen door in 
prayer; she had chosen a spot in the garden to which 
they were to fly in case the house gave signs of falling 
in upon them, and had told the boys to cling to her and 
lie flat upom the ground, face downward, in the fur- 
rows between the lines of blackberry bushes which 
crossed the garden. Thrice her hand was on the door- 
knob to throw it open, that they might flee for safety. 
But they were spared ; our house withstood the storm, 
and though terror-stricken and all but destroyed 
through fear no harm came unto us. The providence 
which had thus far carried us through the tribulatious 
of pioneer-life had again come to our rescue, and my 
family were spared from disaster and death. 

Only less destructive than the blight of i860, because 
the conditions of the people had improved, were the 
grasshopper raids of 1865 and 1874. When the first 
scourge occurred we had but escaped from the horrors 
of the long civil war, during which Kansas had suffered 
as no other northern state bad suffered. The boys-in- 
blue had returned to their homes and had just begun 
anew the peaceful pursuit of farming. The crops were 
in and growing finely, with a most excellent prospect 
for the young state, when out of the heavens, from their 
habitat in the far northwest, came clouds of the Egyp- 
tian locusts. They filled the sky, covered the earth, 
polluted the streams and wtells, stopped trains by clog- 
ging the machinery of the locomotives and being 
crushed in such numbers as to render the tracks too 
slippery for the ready control of the engines ; devoured 


fruit on the trees and ate onions and turnips out of the 
ground; blighted thousands upon thousands of acres of 
growing corn, eating blades, tassels, the young ears and 
the upper parts of the stalk, leaving only the deadened 
stalks like so many blackened broom-handles stuck up 
in the ground, and actually devoured whole fields of 
wheat, oats, rye and other small grain. The devasta- 
tion of the grasshopper cannot be adequately por- 
trayed. I have seen them in such numbers at the con- 
fluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers, and moving 
in such masses, that men might have shoveled them 
into trains of freight cars the whole day long without 
having made a perceptible inroad upon them. They 
ate the lint ofif of pine fences and unpainted houses and 
barns, until these looked as if scraped with knives. 
They ate the meat oflF of peach stones as they hung on 
the trees, until whole orchards were destroyed and the 
trees looked as if their fruit had been boiled ofif the pits 
as the latter were still clinging to the stems. On my 
way to hold one of my quarterly meetings I met a 
cloud of hoppers so dense that they darkened the sun 
at noonday and beat like hail against me and my horse 
until I was compelled to turn aside till the cloud 
passed by. 

This grasshopper scourge and the one of 1874 cost 
the state millions upon ^millions of dollars and thou- 
sands upon thousands of population. Whole counties 
among the more western settlements were depopulated, 
and again were the pioneers compelled to seek assist- 
ance from the East. It became necessary to send out 
emissaries to solicit contributions of food and clothing 
for a suffering people. On the principle that The Lord 
Loveth Whom He Chasteneth, the people of Kansas 
were divinely chosen in those dark days. Thousands 
of experimental farmers, men who had taken advantage 


of the Homestead Act to get for themselves and family 
farms for the living upon them, were compelled to 
leave their partially acquired properties and seek em- 
ployment at former vocations. Thousands who had 
not the courage to withstand the struggles which con- 
fronted the early Kansan left the state for good. Oth- 
ers, more courageous, but who were not in position to 
stick it out, left temporarily, returning after a time to 
pick up where they left of¥ and struggle anew for a 
permanent home. It took courage to withstand all the 
attacks which were made upon us in those early days, 
and the later-come Kansan can never be brought to un- 
derstand what it required to be faithful and loyal to 
Kansas, to freedom, and to the church and schools of 
this beautiful state of today in those early days which 
tried men's souls. May God in His infinite goodness 
and wisdom spare them from all the inflictions through 
which we were made to pass that we might be purified 
and made the more perfectly to understand and appre- 
ciate His mercies as they come unto us. 





I remained three years pastor of the First Church 
in Leavenworth before the restrictive rule was 
changed. My third year was one of most remarkable 
agitation in the civil and social affairs of the city. 
Upon a certain occasion I had invited the preachers 
of the city to my house. When we met I proposed 
the discussion of the general question: ''What are the 
hindrances to the spread of the gospel in Leaven- 
worth?" This was adopted, and I divided the themes 
and appointed a brother to open the discussion of each 
topic, e. g.: Drunkenness, Gambling, Dancing, Pro- 
fanity, Theater Going, Balls. 

Each preacher was to preach on these specified 
topics, and then on each Monday night following a 
pubHc discussion was to be had, in which laymen were 
invited to participate. The politicians soon saw that 
this was reformation and they called an anti-Sunday 
law meeting. I attended one at Wyman's Hall. At 
each of three corners in this hall they were selling 
beer. The other corner was ocupied by a band of 
music. The speaker, a young lawyer from Cleve- 
land, delivered the most bitter tirade of abuse I ever 
heard against the Bible, churches, Christians, and the 
Sabbath. Col. Vaughan and others were to speak, but 
when they saw a company of Christians present they 
declined. The Germans had a very popular man 
among them named Fischer, who was engaged in 


selling beer and the hall echoed with calls of "Fischer, 
Fischer." Finally Brother Miller said to me, "Here 
is a chance to make a speech. Get up on this stool 
and give them the truth." They called again, 
"Fischer, Fischer," and I mounted the stool and be- 
gan to address the crowd. They listened a moment 
and asked: "Who is this?" a little curly headed Jew 
replying, "The Methodist Preacher." With knives and 
revolvers they made a rush for me. Young men 
around me repelled them and said they should not 
harm me. I waved my hand, commanded silence, 
and told them I had a right to speak; I was a German* 
my father could not speak a word of English when 
he was a boy; that to prove to them that I was a 
German I would tell them my grandfather's name, it 
was Johannes Christofer Fischer." Whereupon they 
cheered and cried, "Go on, go on!" I gave them hot 
shot for a little while, till they began to cry out lustily, 
"Ausgespielen! Get out! Dry up!" and again fell tc 
brandishing their knives and revolvers. I stood un- 
moved above the storm 'till it quieted, when I an- 
nounced a meeting in Stockton's Flail for the follow- 
ing evening and invited them all to attend. 

By morning we had the dry goods boxes and cor- 
ners of stores covered with notices of the meeting, 
some of us working all night to accomplish this re- 
sult. Saturday evening witnessed the most respecta- 
ble and enthusiastic mass meeting ever held in the 
city. Appropriate addresses were made and law and 
order were vindicated. Revs. Mr. Baldridge, Stone, 
Pitzer, Parker, and I preached on the Sunday law 
the Sabbath preceding election day, and we exhorted 
the Christian women, as they could not vote, to pray 
that God would give us the victory. 

I visited the Catholic Bishop, who kindly said: "My 



people have need of the Sabbath for a day of worship 
and rest and I will instruct them so to vote." 

Our mayor was a pro-slavery whiskyite and ap- 
pointed the polls at inconvenient and out-of-the-way 
places. But Mr. Stone, the Episcopal Minister, 
dofifed his surplice and gown, Mr. Baldridge put his 
trousers inside his boots. Brother Pitzer rolled up 
his trousers and put on a pair of rubbers, while I 
dofifed what little ministerial dignity had hitherto em- 
barrassed me — I have never seen it since — and we 
pitched in to win. And win we did. 

The morning after election I met Jerry Clark, a 
high Episcopalian, who accosted me with, "Brother 
Fisher, you should have been down at the court- 
house last night to have given Brother Stone a word 
of exhortation. We should have had a grand Metho- 
dist shout, for," said he, "thank God, we beat the 
rummies one hundred and sixty votes, and Mr. Stone 
staid right there till the last vote was counted!" He 
was a 'noble man of God and we loved him dearly. 

The following Sabbath was pronounced the quietest 
enjoyed by Leavenworth since her first saloon was 
opened. The churches were filled and all moral in- 
fluences had a chance thereafter. 

About this time, while in Leavenworth, a colored 
man named Charley Fisher was claimed by heirs in 
New Orleans, and in order to take him away with as 
little noise as possible he was kidnapped, gagged, 
handcuffed, and taken to a bagnio and saloon in Mis- 
souri. His captors became drunk and sleepy with 
debauch, and he efifected his escape by recrossing the 
Missouri amid ice, though manacled, in a skiff, and 
made his way to a cabin, where Mr. Justis Skeen 
lived. Mr. Skeen directed him where to look for a 


file, which he firmly placed in a crack in one of the 
logs and filed the fetters off his hands. He then re- 
turned to Leavenworth and was finally brought into 
court before the notorious Judge LeCompt, under a 
ruse, as a witness against Charley Shepherd and Jack 
Henderson, the men who had kidnapped him, the 
real object being to get him into the hands of a pro- 
slavery marshal. When dismissed from the witness- 
stand he was seized as a fugitive slave, taken under 
guard to the Planter's House, and locked in an up- 
stairs room. 

A rescue was planned. Twenty young men with 
mufifled boots met mysteriously at midnight and by 
concert of action went to the room, which now con- 
stituted a prison, to rescue the man. But the plan 
miscarried, for the young man who was to bring an 
axe, with which to open the door, in the excitement 
forgot his axe and the alarm was given. 

Next day the marshal changed the prisoner to 
another hotel, the "Mansion," fearing a repetifion of 
the effort at rescue. Four of the young men boarded 
with me. The second night the knowledge of the 
whereabouts of Fisher was made known by a hotel 
waiter, who took him his supper. 'To the rescue!" 
was passed from mouth to ear, with a determined 
tone, which meant that no axe should be forgotten this 
time. Nor was it! And for years I had that very 
axe for a memento. Afterward it was borrowed by 
a careless fellow who failed to return it. 

Charley was rescued, taken to Judge Gardner's, 
held under a habeas corpus order, and in returning 
to the city under cover of a sham fight, escaped and 
fled toward Lawrence. He lost his way, hid all night 
in a shock of corn, and next night came to my house. 
My wife gave him a coverlet and directed him to hide 


ill the weeds until she could send me word to prayer 
meeting that a refugee was needing our assistance. 
I arranged for Brother Clayton to pray. I told him to 
take his time, and he prayed loud and long, while I 
gave the rescuers word to rally, and when prayer 
ended I found a company of willing ones at my house. 
We concealed the poor fellow, hunted hke a wild 
beast, until the next day, when my wife and Mrs. 
Weaver dressed him in women's clothes, but unthink- 
mgly gave him a pair of my hose. When I was a 
young preacher nearly all the young women of Ohio 
knitted their own and their brothers' stockings and 
socks, and as I was popular among them they had 
made me presents of many pairs. Indeed, I had 
enough given me to last me for fourteen years after 
I married. Among others was a beautiful pair with 
my initials in red in the tops. These were the ones 
my wife gave to the black fellow and these he wore 
away. After his departure it became a source of great 
alarm to her lest he should be captured through the 
initialed socks and she and Mrs. Weaver be discovered 
as having helped a fugitive slave to escape. Happily 
no such result followed. 

We sent him off under escort of three trusty rescu- 
ers, in open daylight in the presence of the marshal's 
posse of sixty men, under the guise of a wedding 
party from the country, landed him in Lawrence, and 
his pursuers were never the wiser. He subsequently 
fell into their hands on his way to Canada, was taken 
to New Orleans, remained there till the rebellion 
broke out, then working his way to Vicksburg, was 
there when it fell into Gen. Grant's hands, when he 
again come North. At the close of the war he made 
his way to Kansas, reporting himself to my wife and 
Mrs. Weaver in great demonstration of gratitude for 
their interest in his escape. 




At the close of my ministerial term in Leavenworth 
I was stationed at Lawrence. We were soon at our 
new post of duty, and though the church was small 
and the society weak it was a pleasant field. After 
spending four months of very active effort I had erect- 
ed for my family a very substantial brick house. Our 
boys were anxious to help, though yet quite young. 
So, to save material and secure perfectly ce- 
mented walls, I arranged that the boys should 
wet every brick that went into the walls in tubs 
of water. The wisdom of this will be seen in the 
chapter on "Quantrell's Raid." At the ex- 
piration of four months I moved my family into their 
home, The next day I was appointed Chaplain of the 
Fifth Kansas Cavalry by Gen. James H. Lane, and ap- 
proved by the officers of the regiment, Col. H. P. John- 
son commanding. 

War had fairly commenced. The battle at Wilson's 
Creek had taken place. Gen. Lyon had fallen, and the 
Union forces had been defeated. Large army stores 
had been sent to Fort Scott as a basis of supplies for 
Lyon's army. These supplies became a tempting ob- 
ject for Sterling Price, Gen. Raines and Gen. Slack. 
Gov. Calib Jackson of Missouri was anxious that 
Price should capture them and his army was sent to 
Fort Scott. Gen. Lane was ordered to Fort Scott and 
directed to repel Price's army. He hastily collected 
his brigade, in a half equipped condition, and sent 
word for the militia of the state to rally and help repel 


the approaching enemy, with an army eighteen thou- 
sand strong. The work of equipment was quickly and 
imperfectly effected. Among these equipments was 
the locally noted "Old Sacramento" belonging to Col. 
Moonlight — a howitzer that might have been carried 
on the shoulder and which had been taken in the Mexi- 
can war. 

We were ordered on a forced march. The cavalry- 
men were mounted on brood mares, farm horses and 
ponies, with sabres, muskets, revolvers, double-bar- 
reled shotguns and Sharp's rifles. There were sixteen 
hundred all told on a forced march of one hundred 
miles, to meet a disciplined army of eighteen thousand 
men, many of whom had been on what to them was a 
victorious field at Wilson's Creek! 

I rode to Lawrence, on the w^ay to bid my family 
farewell. I was simply a chaplain, but I took the 
authority to hire every wagon I could find to carry 
the infantry, whom I knew would be foot-sore and 
weary, to the scene of conflict. When the commander 
came next day he approved the timely forethought and 
contracts for the wagons, publicly thanked me, and 
took charge of them. We hurried on, the wagons 
greatly relieving the already foot-sore infantry. When 
we reached Fort Scott we went into camp and prepar- 
ed for the defense of the military stores. Price's army 
finally approached. Citizens were coming in, many 
unarmed, from all the country round. We drew am- 
munition and equipage. I opened the cases of 
Springfield rifles and bayonets and gave them to men 
on horseback who rode ofif with them like rails lying 
across their saddles. It was a serious time, but intp it 
crept now and again the grotesque and laughable, the 
ludicrous as well as the solemn. 

General Lane finally ordered his advance guard, 


under Colonels Montgomery, Weir and Johnson, with 
Colonel Moonlight's howitzer, to hold the rebels in 
check at Dry Wood, a creek ten miles to the east of 
Fort Scott; for nearer and nearer had come the rebel 
army. The- detail proceeded to this duty in fine spirit, 
while the general and officers engaged themselves in 
getting all available forces in the field in good shape. 
Our men met the enemy, dismounted, and from the 
tall prairie grass poured deadly shot from their Sharp's 
rifles into Price's advancing columns. Moonlight be- 
gan to give play to his little gun and the first shell 
burst in the midst of Captain Bledsoe's battery, kill- 
ing three gunners, upsetting two guns and seriously 
wounding Captain Bledsoe. One or two more shells 
went screaming from Moonlight's unerring piece into 
the rebel column. The hiss and whirr of the Sharp's 
rifle balls sent rider and horse to the grass, and in less 
than an hour after the first shot was fired the rebel 
army was in full retreat, and the rebel General Slack 
afterwards had to report to Governor Calib Jackson 
that wdien he came up with his division he found his 
friends. Generals Price and Raines, in rapid retreat, 
amounting almost to a panic. Less than three hun- 
dred and eighty Kansas troops were in the fight, but 
it was the acme of patriotic eloquence. It was action. 
The superior force of the enemy was known to 
General Lane, and apprehending that his forces were 
known by the rebels he naturally supposed they would 
return, renew their march on Fort Scott, capture the 
military stores and endanger the whole border of Kan- 
sas. So he ordered the immediate remo-^ial of all the 
stores to a new post, which he selected, and called 
Fort Lincoln. It was a busy time. Mrs. Col. H. P. 
Johnson, myself and two teamsters, struck our regi- 
mental tents and camp, loaded our wagons, and had 


everything in readiness to move out as soon as the 
command returned from the field. We first busied 
ourselves feeding the hungry soldiers, without refer- 
ence to the regiment to which they belonged. The 
whole night and part of the next day were occupied 
in moving the military camp and stores. General 
Lane was ubiquitous, everywhere directing the hasty 
and difficult work. Believing, as he did that the enemy 
would come and take possession of the evacuated fort, 
he ordered a detail of eight men, gave me a box of 
matches and placed me in charge, commanding that 
if the enemy came up, to fire the post and town and 
burn it rather than let it fall into their hands. 

It was a strange sight, and one over which I have 
often mused, to see a Methodist preacher, with revol- 
ver in one hand and axe in the other, preparing fagots 
and placing them in the houses where they would do 
the speediest work, watching for an approaching 
enemy as a signal to the men detailed to fire the build- 
ings which afterward sheltered us. The enemy, how- 
ever, avoided the Kansas line and marched to the cap- 
ture of Colonel Mulligan, at Lexington, Mo., after 
which they returned to Springfield. 

The Sabbath following Dr. W. R. Davis preached 
for my regiment while I drew from the stores cloth- 
ing for our entire regiments as our old quartermaster 
had not yet got familiar with his work and because my 
general seemed to have an idea that my services in an 
emergency were as valuable as an ordinary sermon. 
The previous Sabbath I had organized a "Camp 
Church," on a liberal Evangelical basis which I have 
reason to believe w^as the first camp church of the war. 
The day Dr. Davis preached for us quite a number 
joined the church. This camp church lasted through 


the war, and some of its members are Christians to 
this day. 

When we left Fort Lincoln we marched to Barns- 
ville to prevent the rebel army from coming to Kan- 
sas after having taken Lexington. Here our commis- 
sary stores were in great danger, and General Lane 
sent for me to act as commissariat — a new role for a 
chaplain. I requested each company in the brigade 
to send a detail of eight men and an orderly and in 
less than an hour each had its portion of the stores 
and had been made responsible for its care. As it was 
their means of subsistence they were ready to protect 
it or fight. We soon had every pound under most 
efficient guard, and so distributed that it could be safely 
moved in the company and regimental wagons. 

When we reached the "Old Indian Mission" the 
general issued an order directing that I repair as early 
as possible to Quincy, Illinois, and other points east 
and bring out companies, regiments and brigades to 
join the army of the border, instructing us to apply 
to Capt. Insley at Quincy, and Capt. Prince, com- 
manding at Fort Leavenworth for all needed trans- 
portation for men and horses, as well as money to 
outfit these commands. 

I started on this unusual mission and was detained 
a day or two at Leavenworth awaiting orders 
from Washington when the sad news reached me that 
my Colonel, H. P. Johnson, who had been a local 
preacher in my charge in Leavenworth, had been killed 
in an engagement at Morristown, Missouri. His wife 
was at Leavenworth. She was an intimate friend, and 
upon Capt. Prince's advice and her persuasion I 
awaited the arrival of Col. Johnson's remains, attended 


the funeral, preached the sermon, and then went to 
Lawrence to visit my family, having learned that I 
would meet General Lane there. 

In the meantime the IlHnois troops were being mus- 
tered for the Mississippi Valley. Since Price's army 
was making all possible haste to Arkansas leaving the 
army of General Fremont to be reinforced by troops 
from the West, via Kansas City. Our command was 
soon marching via Osceola to Springfield, Missouri. 
The Osage River was a difficult stream to cross at 
Osceola. There was only a miserable old scow with 
a chain made of iron rods reaching from bank to bank. 
No quartermaster or wagonmaster would venture to 
cross a team on the rickety boat. Colonel Ritchie had 
succeeded to the command of our regiment. I accom- 
panied him and General Lane to see if we could by 
any possibility get the command over. We went down 
to the river where I examined the boat and told the 
general if he would detail six men from each company 
I would take the train over. We pulled the boat out of 
water, made some necessary repairs and then launched 
her, provided with a half a dozen battery buckets to 
bail out the water. I took command, and we took 
over a light wagon and four mules. We ferried the 
wagons and animals belonging to my regiment first; 
then the general's wagon, the staff-wagons and the ar- 
tillery. When this was done Captain Haskell, quar- 
termaster of the Third Regiment, relieved me, seeing 
I had demonstrated the possibility of crossing the 
river. (After the war I was introduced by General 
Lane in the United States Senate chamber to a num- 
ber of senators as "the chaplain who saved the day and 
his brigade at Osceola.") 


We joined Fremont's command at Springfield, and 
remained in camp until General David Hunter took 
command and relieved Fremont. While encamped 
here we were short of rations. Colonel Ritchie, myself 
and about thirty men were sent on a foraging mission. 
We took possession of Isam's Mills and sent the men 
to the farms, and they threshed the wheat and brought 
it to the mills, where we ground it into flour and sent 
it to camp, thus supplying the wants of our army. 
While camped at Springfield and, on our return march, 
via Lamar, our camp was the center of attraction to 
multitudes of "contrabands" and refugees, so that they 
cumbered our camp and movements, and became at 
last so numerous as to threaten our subsistence. 

On the march to Lamar General Lane sent an or- 
derly to notify me that he wished to see me as we 
marched. I rode to the head of the column and was 
at once asked by him : 

"Chaplain, what can we do to relieve the army of 
these contrabands, without exposing them to their 

My advice was that they be sent to Kansas and pro- 
vided with labor and homes to help save the crop and 
provide fuel, as most of the men were in the army. 
When we went into camp the general issued an order 
that all the contrabands and refugees should be re- 
ported to headquarters, and ready to move by eight 
o'clock next morning. The following order was is- 

"Chaplains Fisher, Moore and Fish: — You are here- 
by ordered and directed to take charge of the contra- 
bands and refugees in camp and proceed with themi to 
Kansas, finding homes and employment for them, and 


dividing the property among them to the best of your 

(Signed) J. H. LANE, 

Commanding the Army of the Border. 
"T. J. ANDERSON, Adjutant General." 

Next morning early there was a stir in the camp. 
Fourteen men were detailed as an escort to save us 
from falling into the hands of the guerrillas. We had 
a wagon load of almost useless guns. I picked out 
about thirty negroes and armed them, the first negroes 
armed during the rebellion. We divided this company, 
and also the white escort, and placed half as an advance 
guard with orders to "scout well," and the other half 
as a rear guard with orders to keep well up, and by 
no means to allow a surprise. Such a caravan had not 
moved since the days of Moses. It was a nondescript 
emigration. We traveled day and night, not stopping 
to cook, only eating what cold food might chance to 
be on hand. Once we came upon a little herd of 
cattle of which the boys shot three, and while they 
were yet kicking the flesh was cut from their bodies 
and hastily broiled, while other portions were put in 
the wagons for use when we were secure in camp. 

When we reached Kansas I halted the command, 
drew them up in a line and, raising myself to my full 
height on my war horse commanded silence, and there 
under the open heavens, on the sacred soil of freedom, 
in the name of the Constitution of the United States, 
the Declaration of Independence, and by authority of 
General James H. Lane, I proclaimed that they were 
"forever free." 

Their mouths flew open and such a shout went up 
as was never heard. Men and women who had been 


sighing for liberty during many long unrequited years 
of toil now felt and knew they were free. They jump- 
ed, cried, sang and laughed for joy. These were the 
first slaves formally set free. It occurred in Septem- 
ber, 1861, long before Mr. Lincoln's proclamation 
had been issued. I made my proclamation effective by 
giving to everyone of them a new name. Many of 
them still live to confirm the story of their emancipa- 

A frosty-headed old negress of eighty years stepped 
out of line and shouted: ''Chillen, heah me! I'se 
been tellin' you dese many a yeah de yeah of jubilee'd 
come, and Glory to Gawd! de yeah of jubilee am 

When we arrived at Fort Scott we began hiring the 
negroes to any who would agree to take care of them 
and pay them for their labor. We changed their 
names from the old plantation names to those of North- 
ern significancy, to prevent the possibility of their 
being returned to slavery in case the war should be 
a failure. This was more than a year before the im- 
mortal Lincoln issued his proclamation. It was a re- 
markable experience, a never-to-be-forgotten oppor- 
tunity of useful work. Almost all those brought out 
of bondage did well. Many of them came with noth- 
ing but their plantation outfits, and these worn almost 
threadbare. Now they own lands, horses and cattle 
and are rearing their families with good educational 
and religious advantages. 

Upon reaching Lawrence — I had been talking re- 
ligion and morals all the way up — I announced that I 
would preach to the emancipated contrabands in the 
Methodist Church. The house was full. I preached, 
Rev. I. T. Ferrell exhorted, and then I invited them to 


join the church. Twenty-six joined that night, others 
the next night, and they finally organized a church 
which has done and is doing a vast amount of good. 

I next visited Leavenworth, where I met Rev. John 
M. Wilkinson and advised him to go to Lawrence and 
take charge of the colored members, now numbering 
about sixty, knowing they would be happier and more 
contented in a society by themselves. Rev. L. B. Den- 
nis was perfectly willing to have them thus organized, 
for though he w^s a radical anti-slavery man, he under- 
stood the situation and appreciated the desirability of 
the proposed change. When these people had joined 
the Church, we had to give them new names. We 
called one "Elizabeth Dennis," for the elder's wife. 
Her son, Rev. Baxter Davis, protested, saying, "Oh, 
no! That's my mother's name." But the name had 
been given the former slave, and by it she was ever 
afterwards known. 

Brother Wilkinson organized them, and the society 
has grown and built a fine brick Church of imposing 
dimensions. The organization during those troub- 
lous times, and since, has done a vast amount of good. 

The jubilee of the First Methodist Episcopal Church 
of Lawrence was held last October. At that time it was 
my pleasure and very great privilege to preach to a 
large congregation of colored people in the African M. 
E. Church thus planted, and in the audience were some 
of the number whom I had brought out of slavery. 

I count this among the incidents of my life which go 
to make up a record of which I shall not be ashamed 
in the last great day. 




Upon our return to our commands we found plenty 
to do. The Fifth Kansas Cavalry went into winter 
quarters in Camp Denver, in Kansas. My colored 
help, ''Nels," and his brother and I built a log house 
of rails, stopping the crevices with hay, covering all 
with a large tarpaulin, thus making a tent that would 
accommodate two hundred people. I had this for my 
camp church. We had instrumental and vocal music 
and I preached often to the boys. Finally the pay- 
master did not make his appearance and the men 
became almost mutinous, for they had not received 
any pay for about five months. They held a mass 
meeting in my camp church and requested the colonel 
to appoint the chaplain to visit General Hunter at 
Fort Leavenworth and secure payment of the troops. 
Orderly Samuel Cargo was requested to accompany 
the chaplain. Accordingly I was appointed and re- 
ceived military orders to proceed to Leavenworth and 
secure the immediate payment of the men. I obeyed 
and was very kindly received by General Hunter, who 
directed Paymaster Adams to proceed with all reason- 
able dispatch to pay the troops. Orderly Cargo re- 
turned with the pleasing intelligence that the pay- 
master was coming. General Hunter extended my 
leave of absence, and I made a visit to my home, 
finding my family well and contented, though "wishing 
for the war to cease." 


When I returned to camp they had converted my 
church into a paymaster's tent. Then, when the men 
got their pay some of them became drunk and dis- 
orderly and the colonel converted it into a guard- 
house. When they had sent the disorderly ones up 
they seemed very much ashamed to think they were 
put under the eyes of the chaplain. Afterward I was 
requested by a number of the soldiers to take their 
money to their families, which I was enabled to do by 
the commander giving me a leave of absence for that 

Besides frequently preaching to the command I 
read and explained the army regulations, which 
seemed to be of great help to the men in fully under- 
standing the details and purposes of military disci- 

The second term of our service was under the com- 
mand of Colonel Powell Clayton. He was emphati- 
cally a military man. Our regiment was connected 
with General Curtis' command, and ordered to Helena 
to reinforce General Grant bfore Vicksburg. The 
regiment was at Rolla when General Curtis pene- 
trated the fastnesses and swamps of Arkansas, and we 
marched to unite with him at Batesville. A party of 
us were left at Rolla to bring on the quartermaster's 
stores and ammunition. As soon as we could get 
mules we began the march to overtake the command. 
The rebel army had been driven before Curtis and his 
men, but a large body of guerrillas hung upon the 
skirts of his army, and Confederate General Hind- 
man had been stationed at Desark with thirteen hun- 
dred men to take in any Union soldiers who might 
turn their attention to Little Rock. Our party con- 
sisted of eighty men, some of whom had just come 


out of the hospital at Rolla. We met the noted guer- 
rilla chief, Coleman, and surprised his advance guard, 
whereupon the rebel party fied precipitously. 

We were under the necessity of marching night and 
day, only camping one Saturday night when com- 
pletely worn out, at five o'clock a. m. breaking camp 
and starting again on our way to Black River. Captain 
Morse had charge of the advance. I was riding in a 
covered buggy, caring for Lieut. Trego, who was very 
ill. We were immediately behind the advance 
guard. Just as we were reaching the top of a hill 
and as day was fully upon us we beheld at the foot of 
the hill three hundred rebel soldiers marching to sur- 
prise us in camp. Captain Morse gave orders to 
draw sabres and charge at full speed. Our com- 
mand was coming up. The word rang back, ''The 
rebels are here!" and our men put spurs to horse and 
came rushing on as fast as they could. Meanwhile I 
put the whip to my horses and down the hill I went, 
amid the dust raised by Morse's men, while the rattle 
and bang of my callash-top buggy made the rebels 
think there was a "pack of flying artillery" coming. 
Our men yelled like savages. When they struck the 
head of the rebel column they killed eleven and scat- 
tered the whole force. I never before saw such break- 
ing through the brushes and over fences. It was well 
for Lieut. Trego and me that they ran, for we never 
could have gotten out of the scrimmage in our buggy 
had they made a stand. 

We were blockaded the next day, but an exhibition 
of bravery was our only possible hope, so our men 
charged the blockade, and after cutting through 
pressed on in hope of overtaking the main command. 

At Black River we were compelled to cross on a 


frail boat, which was pulled over by hand, by a rope 
suspended from side to side from trees. When we 
had about half the train ferried across the stream we 
were surprised and attacked by three hundred Texas 
rangers under command of General Johnstone, who 
had been promoted for meritorious conduct at the 
battles of Pittsburg Landing and Corinth. The at- 
tack was a complete surprise, and must have resulted 
in overwhelming disaster to us if the enemy had dis- 
mounted. But they were over-confident and rushed 
upon our dismounted men, who took to trees and 
fence, and from behind these and banks of sand and 
other barricades poured a deadly fire into the "Secesh" 
and their horses. Their commander was killed early 
in the attack. Seventeen rebels were left dead 
on the plateau at the ferry, and the repulse became 
complete in less than an hour. 

During this time, with the help of comrades Thomp- 
son, Harrington and Winship, I was employed in 
bringing over the rest of our men, running the old 
scow of a boat across the river under a shower of bul- 
lets, some of them whizzing into the gunwale, others 
whizzing about our heads. As we reached out on the 
rope a bullet passed under my arm and struck Win- 
ship in the thick part of his shoulder. He dropped by 
my side, but we soon had him on shore. The boat was 
filled in a trice, and run as by steam to the side where 
the fighting was going on, and the men sprang to the 
fray with a yell, let loose a volley upon the swaying 
rebels and rushed upon them with such deadly pur- 
pose that they turned and fled. 

Some of our men were in the river bathing when the 
cry of ''Secesh! Secesh!" was raised. They scrambled 
out of the water and as the rebels ran mounted their 
horses, graciously attired in cartridge box, with gun 


in hand, and followed the retreating foe until his rout 
was complete. We at once finished the task of cross- 
ing the river and that night bivouaced on the further 
bank. The next morning came with a long march 
ahead, and bur quartermaster proposed to abandon the 

''Never!" said I, and ''Never!" cried the boys. "We 
will go in with the train and colors up or we won't 
go in at all. We'll fight for the train as we have done 
all the way through." 

So we lightened it up as much as we could and 
went on our way. We had lost but one man, and he 
by drowning. The poor fellow had been ill and was 
too weak to stem the current. 

Pressing on as rapidly as possible we sent word to 
General Curtis asking for relief. W^e were nearly out 
of provisions and likely to be annihilated at any mo- 
ment. Our first messengers fell into the hands of the 
enemy, but the second ones sent got through the lines 
with our message. Curtis sent word that he could not 
spare a regiment and that a company would do no 
good, suggesting that we had better abandon the 
train, separate, travel at night and make all haste to 
concentrate at Helena. But we determined to re- 
main together and take the train in rather than aban- 
don it and then sneak in like cowards. 

At Cache River we were so fortunate as to come up 
on three or four head of cattle, which we soon dis- 
patched and appropriated to our urgent needs. After 
a dinner consisting almost entirely of fresh beef we 
broke camp, crossed the Cache and burned the bridge 
behind us. Before it fell there were thirteen hundred 
rebels in sight; but the bridge went down, the stream 


was impassable, and they were compelled to fall back 
to Desark while we went marching on. 

We were out fifteen days and nights before we were 
able to join our command. The march was full of 
privations and dangers, all of which the men bore un- 
complainingly, and upon our arrival at Helena we 
w-ere in as good condition as might be expected after 
so trying an experience. 

The camps at Helena, as before at Lamar, were 
over-run with contrabands seeking freedom. In ad- 
dition to my duties as chaplain I was postmaster for 
the regiment, and, with Chaplains Foreman and New- 
land, was appointed Superintendent of Contrabands. 
The blacks came in upon us by the thousands, re- 
quiring the exhibition of great care and patience for 
their handling. Here my church building experiences 
served us well. We built a large though rude church 
which answered for both church and school purposes. 
I preached the dedicatory sermon and we opened a 
school with Orderly Benfield as teacher. A Mr. Leech 
also taught in the Episcopal Church. I believe these 
were the first free schools in the state of Arkansas, 
where all colors and classes attended together. 

Upon their return trip from taking supplies to Gen- 
eral Grant at Vicksburg the steamers J. J. Simons, 
War Eagle, Emma and Katie White were put under 
my control at one and the same time, and by military 
orders I took large numbers of contrabands to St. 
Louis and Leavenworth, and scattered them through- 
out Missouri, Illinois, low^a and Kansas, sending some 
of them as far as Ohio. One of the steamers had a 
crew all of whom were sympathizers with the rebel 
cause, and when we were ready to start General Pren- 
tiss called the captain of the boat to one side, and also 


a military captain who was to accompany us, and said 
to them: 

"I am sending Chaplain Fisher in charge of these 
people. I want you to obey orders strictly, and follow 
his commands to the letter. We must not allow these 
boats to fall into the hands of the enemy. Render 
him all aid you possibly can. 

Then, turning to the military commander, he said 
to him: "Captain, I wish you would see that Chap- 
lain Fisher's orders are obeyed, and if any officer or 
man on the boat should disobey them put him in irons 
and deliver him to the military authorities at St. 

After we were under way I told the mate that if he 
desired any help at the wood yard or in coaling up to 
let me know and I would detail as many men as he 
wished, so as to save time and avoid danger of cap- 
ture. We forbade all persons except the engineers 
going back of the boilers. I had orderhes with me, and 
placed four men in the pilot house and four on the- 
forecastle, to prevent being betrayed by the pilot or 

After supplying the mate with a detail of sixty men 
to help wood up Orderly Want came to the cabin and 
said to me that there was trouble below and he wanted 
me to come down. I went with him and found the 
mate and a deck-hand back among the refugees 
cursing them in the most violent manner, and the poor 
people in utter alarm. 

I asked what was the matter, and he turned upon 
me and with an oath told me to mind my own business. 

I replied, "That is what I am here for; and now, sir, 
I want you to leave here immediately. I don't allow 
any one back of the boilers." 

He refused to go. I called the orderly in charge of 


the soldiers on the forecastle to bring his men and 
told them to fix bayonets and surround the man. I 
took out my watch and told him he had just five 
minutes to get out of that, or we would let daylight 
through him. He stood defiantly until I told him he 
had just one minute left and ordered the soldiers to 

He weakened and said to me, ''Chaplain, take them 
away; I'll go, and I'll not trouble you any more." 

I then told him again if he wanted a detail at any 
time to let me know and I would have it ready, and 
that if he and his men would obey orders there would 
be no trouble. After that we got along without diffi- 
culty and I reported the whole party safely at St. 




I was also ordered to take a large party to Leaven- 
worth and find homes for them. The steamers 
Magenta and Sam Gaty were loading for Fort Benton. 
I put a part of the company on the Magenta in care of 
Orderly Want, who was with me in this work for 
eighteen months. The rest I put on the Sam Gaty, 
intending to go in charge of them myself. Just as the 
cable was cast and the last gang-plank was being 
drawn in I was impressed that I had better go via 
rail and prepare for the reception of the party. I gave 
my papers to Mr. Wilson, an orderly, went up to the 
office, obtained railroad transportation, and reached 
Leavenworth in time to receive the Magenta. The 
Sam Gaty was detained by a broken shaft at Herman, 
Missouri, and when she reached Napoleon on Sunday 
evening a band of guerrillas, having been notified that 
I was on her, captured the boat. Orderly Wilson lay 
down by the cylinder timbers and the women covered 
him with their cooking utensils and clothing. The 
guerrillas took the black men off to the beach and 
made the mate hold a light while they shot them. 
When the order to fire was given many of the blacks 
fell and lay as though dead. Nine were killed and 
several wounded. Seven women were shot but none 
killed. Then they instituted search for me and would 
not be satisfied that I was not on board till they had 
killed three men in my stead. 

Meantime I was about to preach a sermon in the 


Methodist church in Leavenworth when the provost 
marshal came up and notified me that he had received 
word that the Gaty was captured and all on board had 
been killed. I requested him to telegraph to Liberty 
and learn the facts. He returned as I closed my ser- 
mon and reported that some had escaped and hailed a 
boat and were coming up and that the Gaty would be 
in on Monday. 

Her arrival baffles description! Such a scene was 
never before nor since witnessed on the levee at 
Leavenworth. Hundreds had assembled at the sound 
of the steamboat's whistle. When she was safely 
moored Captain Sours, commandant, came ashore, 
and in the presence of the crowd threw his arms 
around me and wept for joy. ''Oh, Chaplain," he 
cried, ''I am so glad you were not on my boat; the 
guerrillas had fagots lighted three times to burn her if 
you w^ere not surrendered, and they took three men 
out of their beds, one at a time, and killed them, think- 
ing they had you. I protested from the first that you 
were not on board, but they said they had word from 
St. Louis that you were and they were bound to get 

The blacks cried like children, and asked me, "Why 
did you leave us? We could have escaped if you had 
been with us." 

The guerrillas had taken eighteen of the boys and 
girls and run them away into Missouri, scattering 
them among sympathizer's families. There was soon 
organized a rescue party of loyal boys in blue who 
scoured the Missouri country near Napoleon and re- 
covered all the children but one, a boy named Jack- 
son. And even he escaped his captors and came to 
Leavenworth, where, by our help, he found his mother, 
to the joy of us all. 


The whole party were p.romptly provided with 
homes in good famihes. Orderly Wilson was so 
crushed by, the events of the trip and his exposure so 
broke his health that he did not return to his company, 
but in due time was honorably discharged from ser- 




Having returned to my regiment I was detailed in 
the early part of August to take charge of a large 
number of sick and wounded soldiers, with orders to 
take them to the hospital at St. Louis. There were 
nearly one hundred men, with sixteen nurses, Surgeon 
White and several assistant surgeons and hospital 
stewards to care for the sick and wounded. I was also 
ordered by Colonel Powell Clayton to proceed to 
Leavenworth and contract with a surgeon to join the 
regiment at once, as our regimental surgeon. Dr. A. J. 
Huntoon, was sick and on furlough in Pennsylvania. 

After seeing that the party under my care were 
safely placed in the hospitals at St. Louis I proceeded 
to perform the second part of my duty. At Leaven- 
worth I contracted with Dr. Carpenter to go South 
immediately and join the Fifth Kansas Cavalry for 
surgeon's duty at Helena. I was then ill, due to ex- 
posure on the trip, and having been seized with quinsy, 
to which I had long been subject, repaired to my fam- 
ily at Lawrence, a very sick man, reaching home about 
the middle of August. It thus happened that I was 
there, an invalid, at the time of the most fearful and 
barbarous occurrence of the War of the Rebellion, the 
massacre and pillage of Lawrence by Quantrell and 
his murderous band. 

For a long time rumors had been afloat that it was 


the intention of the Missouri guerrillas to sack Law- 
rence and slaughter her citizens. More than once 
guards had been placed on all the roads leading into 
town. The cry of *'Wolf" had been raised too often. 
The people had served as pickets and had been fright- 
ened so many times, each time to learn that the alarm 
had been false, that they had come to look upon the 
danger of a raid upon their town as not even remotely 
possible, and had become accustomed and indifferent 
to alarms of this character. Thus it happened that 
when Quantrell came at last, with hellish and dire 
destruction, the guards had all been withdrawn and 
the town was asleep to danger. 

The unnatural and barbarous state of affairs engen- 
dered by war was terribly emphasized on Kansas soil, 
where the anti-slavery people were exposed to the 
malignant hate of an enemy in the throes of defeat, 
whose schemes of revenge took form in arson, rob- 
bery, pillage and murder wherever defenceless border- 
towns promised hope of success to these murderous 
marauders. How deadly their purpose, how sweeping 
in destruction were these guerrilla raids many a Kan- 
sas town was called upon to bear testimony to. But 
of them all none were made to suffer and mourn as 
Lawrence was made to suffer and mourn. The black 
cloud of darkest woe was her mantle. The citadel of 
free-state thought and sentiment, beautiful in situation, 
easy of approach, presenting avenues of escape to the 
hills of Missouri because of her contiguity to the bor- 
der line, an object of supremest hate and fellest design 
to the desperate bandits who roamed the country and 
gloated in the opportunities which war afforded, their 
leader embittered toward the town for its ostracism of 
him for crimes he had committed within her limits, 
Lawrence easily fell a prey to the vicious products of a 


fratricidal war and furnished the historian the records 
from which to pen the darkest deed inflicted upon a 
city and people during all the dark days of a needless 

Quantrell was the chief of border murderers and 
leader of the most desperate band of highwaymen ever 
organized for pillage and death in all this country. In 
him were represented courage and cowardice; suc- 
cessful leadership, intrigue, cunning, desperation, re- 
venge and hate, all to a marked degree. A brief re- 
trospect of his life will bear testimony against him for 
the evils he accomplished. 

Wm. C. Quantrell was born in Canal Dover, Ohio, in 
1837. His father was a tinner by trade, a school- 
teacher by profession. Under his direction the son 
was given a fairly good education. Quantrell junior 
came to Kansas in 1857, locating near Stanton, Miami 
County. In his new surroundings the baser motives 
of his character came quickly to light. He initiated 
himself into his new home by appropriating unto him- 
self a yoke of oxen from a man who had befriended 
him. Concealing them in a deep, unfrequented ravine, 
and there lariating them with a log chain, he carried 
stolen fodder to them and in so doing betrayed himself 
■ — the trail he made in going to and fro leading to the 
finding of the cattle. He made his escape to the moun- 
tains and was next heard of in Salt Lake City. 

After a few months he returned from the West and 
located in Lawrence under the alias of Charley Hart. 
Here he taught school for a brief term, but his asso- 
ciates were low and he was shortly connected with 
them in an inter-state thievery of no small pretensions. 
This consisted in the liberation of slaves and mules 
from Missouri and horses from Kansas, to be returned 


to their respective owners when reward of sufficient 
amount to justify the transaction was offered. The 
Lawrence officials at length became aware of this 
brigandage and broke it up, ordering the soi-disant 
Charley Hart and his associates out of the state. This 
so embittered him against the town that the en- 
fevered guerrilla chief, as ne afterwards became, was 
imbued with the spirit of revenge and the determina- 
tion took possession of him to give vent to it in 
destruction and death when his moment should come. 

Upon being driven from Lawrence he settled in the 
Sni Hills, in Missouri. This locality is perhaps the 
most picturesque and romantic in all that Southwest- 
ern section. Its geography is characterized by the Big 
and Little Blue rivers, as also by the Sni, by moun- 
tains and hills, dark ravines and impassable gulches, 
deep defiles and precipitous canyons, and open glades 
of limited extent, much of the country seldom if ever 
penetrated by man or domestic brute, almost unknown 
to the sunlight of heaven, a typical home for demons 
of darkness, destruction and death. It was here that 
Quantrell made his rendezvous and guerrilla head- 

His lieutenants embraced all the desperate charac- 
ters who were Missouri's disgrace during the border- 
ruffian period, while the war between the states was 
going on, and for many years to follow. There were 
among them Bill Hickman, Joe Maddox, the Younger 
boys, the Jameses, Bill Anderson, Tuck Hill, Woot 
Hill, Bill Hulse, Jim Hinds, Ben Broomfield, Dick 
Yeager, Tom Maupin, Ben Morrow, Sid Creek, Fletch 
Taylor, Jim Little, Col. John Holt, Col. Boaz Roberts, 
and Sim Whitsett, all of whom were men after Quan- 
trell's image, skilled in daring, cunning and murder, 
all men with grievances — grievances against Kansas, 


the United States and their fellow men. They all 
thirsted for revenge. And they all slaked their thirst 
in blood. 

At a meeting of these chieftains and men on the 
banks of the Blackwater at the house of one sympa- 
thizer by the name of Pardee, the raid on Lawrence 
was determined upon, consummately planned and the 
details carefully worked out. In this council Dick 
Yeager made a speech, now passed into history, where 
he deftly outlined the massacre. Quantrell was on his 
feet in an instant to say that he had anticipated the 
plan and already had spies in the town, one of whom 
lived at the Eldridge House as a cattle-speculator and 
occasionally opened a bottle of wine at the same table 
with General Lane. When the motley conclave broke 
up Lawrence's doom had been sealed. The date for 
the raid had been settled upon as the 20th of August, 


Meanwhile, as each setting sun brought the fateful 
day one step nearer life went hopefully on in Law- 
rence, where men passed to their daily occupations, 
unwitting of the fact that upon their heads prices had 
been set and that they, of all Kansas, would be called 
upon to bear the heaviest woe of the war. 

The town in those days was spread over a fair site 
on the South side of the Kansas river and had held 
its own with growing beauty and prosperity since its 
founding in 1854 as the home of a New England 
colony, one of whose constituents, Amos Lawrence, 
had given it his name. Ofif to the West lay Mount 
Oread, in after years to be the home of the magnificent 
buildings comprising the University of Kansas, but in 
those eventful days covered with breastworks and 
rifle pits of freedom's defenders. 


The beautiful streets, stretching away at right angles 
and parallel with the river on the North front, the sub- 
stantial dwellings, the enterprising stores, the bustling 
little market, had all that long August day been alert 
with the sturdy life of the town, and when at last the 
twilight came it enfolded a weary people, who slept all 
too well despite the war and rumors of war which kept 
Kansas electric in those dark days. So that when the 
sun came up in his slow August grandeur on the 
morning of the 21st the people yet slept — many of 
them for the last time on earth. 

The destruction of Lawrence is directly attributable 
to two main reasons, with all their dependent chains of 

The first of these was to be found in the utterly un- 
protected condition of the town, as indeed of the whole 
border, because of the absence of all able-bodied men 
the state could spare at the seats of war, and because, 
too, of the censurable indifference of those in munici- 
pal authority in Lawrence to the dangers of the time. 
Warnings had been so frequent that the ears of the 
officials had grown deaf to threat or entreaty. They 
had no guards about the city, no pickets, no signals, no 
rallying point. 

The second causative influence was in the method 
of guerrilla attack. Sure-footed, noiseless, quick, 
treacherous, these border fiends won many a victory 
before their dazed contestants recovered from the first 
bewildering alarm. Their spies were everywhere at 
work, and they kept themselves well posted on all weak 
and defenceless points in the enemies' ranks. An old 
Mrs. L ., of Kansas City, was the spy who furn- 
ished the necessary information and map of Lawrence. 
On her map she had marked all objectionable houses, 


and this map Quantrell and his men had studied zeal- 
ously in her parlor while Union men scoured the coun- 
try for them. So that while the people slept on that 
fatal morning Quantrell and his men came upon them 
with a full and fiendish knowledge of their helpless- 
ness and an intimate conversance with their situation. 

The line of march was up out of the Southeast across 
the line into Kansas between Aubury and Shawnee- 
town, thence in orderly fashion over the open prairies 
and small streams toward the village of Franklin, four 
miles to the Southeast. As they came they floated over 
their column the stars and stripes of the United States, 
to avert the suspicion of any who might cross their 
path. They halted briefly in Franklin to await word 
from their scouting spies, who were to report a favor- 
able opportunity for attack, emphasizing there their 
plan and determination to kill Jim Lane, Chaplain Fish- 
er and Col. Eldridge. Favorable word being brought 
them out of Lawrence the column moved on. There 
were three hundred all told, one hundred and fifty of 
whom were Quantrell's tried and trusted guerrillas 
and one hundred and fifty of whom were picked from 
Price's most desperate Texas rangers. 

As they neared the town the stars and stripes were 
lowered and out over the heads of the column shot 
the black folds of the Quantrell flag, flaunting the 
name of the leader, inwrought in red upon it by a 
woman's hand. 

And where all this while were the out-lying troops? 
Why did not Fort Anthony send the warning? Why 
did not some early riser shout an alarm? Were people 
to be slaughtered like dogs? Was that awful holocaust 
to be permitted while the heavens smiled on and 
never a sound reached the ears of the 


sleepers? Alas! the troops at Fort Anbury had been 
woefully intimidated and, bereft of their senses, could 
only wait in fear and trembling for the end to come. 
Three times men who happened to be already up and 
about attempted to give an alarm, but three times 
unerring bullets laid them low with death-groans on 
their lips. 

Lawrence had a population of nearly twelve hun- 
dred people. It was accounted the loveHest town in 
the state. Mount Oread, lying to the West, rose sev- 
eral hundred feet above the level of the main residence 
and business portion. Seven miles to the Southeast 
lay Blue Mound, plainly in view. Directly South lay 
the Waukarusa flats, or bottom lands. The river 
coursed directly Eastward on the North, the road to 
the Missouri line following close by its banks. To 
the Southeast, from which direction the guerrillas 
came, there lay a beautiful stretch of farming country, 
just being opened to cultivation. There was here and 
there a farm yielding a bountiful crop, but the settle- 
ments were scattered and few. The main wagon-travel 
to and from Lawrence was from the Northeast, from 
Leavenworth, and directly to the South, through Prai- 
rie City and Baldwin to the Southern part of the state. 
Hence the guerrillas were enabled to come in upon us 
undisturbed. Recruiting stations had been established 
at various points, among them one at Lawrence, and 
the cowardly ruffians were easily able to avert suspi- 
cion by floating the stars and stripes above them. 

Entering the town from the Southeast they marched 
in regular order until the center of the residence por- 
tion had been reached. Here they broke into a main 
body and squads of four, six and eight, the larger body 
galloping furiously down Massaschusetts street to the 


business section, the smaller squads riding as fast as 
their horses could carry them to the various parts of 
the town assigned them for individual action. Some 
flew to the extreme Western limit, the residence of 
General Lane and other prominent citizens. Others 
galloped swiftly to the Southwest, skirting Mount 
Oread and the Southern edge of town. The river 
front needed but little guarding, yet here, too, pickets 
were quickly stationed. As the affrighted people flew 
for safety, no matter what the direction, they were 
confronted by squads of guerrillas so stationed as to 
cut ofl escape. A cordon of death had been thrown 
around us while we slept. 

Fairly within the city the work of death and destruc- 
tion was begun. With demoniac yells the scoundrels 
flew hither and yon, wherever a man was to be seen, 
shooting him down like a dog. Men were called from 
their beds and murdered before the eyes of wives and 
children on their doorsteps. Tears, entreaties, prayers 
availed nothing. The fiends of hell were among us 
and under the demands of their revengeful black leader 
they satiated their thirst for blood with fiendish de- 

The lurid glare of burning houses joined with the 
oncoming sun to shed more light upon the awful 
scene. The torch was applied to every house that had 
been marked on the traitoress' map. Everything that 
could not be carried away as booty was doomed to 
destruction. Every business house on Massachusetts 
street save one was burned to the ground. No home 
that was picked out as the home of a soldier's family 
or that of a Union man was left if it could be burned. 

Not only was the torch applied for the destruction 
of stores and homes, but in many instances the bullet- 
pierced bodies of their owners were consigned to the 


flames, in individual instances before life was ex- 
tinct. Such scenes of barbarity have never been wit- 
nessed, even in the days of war, in recent centuries, 
except among the most degraded tribes of earth. 

Particularly atrocious were the murders of Senator 
Thorp, Dr. Griswold and Editor Trask. Together 
with Mr. Baker they, with their families, were board- 
ing in the Northern part of the town. The guerrillas 
called them to the doorway, and assuring them and 
their wives that they were only to be taken down town 
to a rendezvous at which the citizens had been gath- 
ered, that the danger to the raiders might be lessened 
as they did their work of robbery and arson, they 
were marched to the front side-walk and as their wives 
bade them adieu were commanded to front face, and 
before the eyes of the women and children on the 
porch but thirty feet away they were shot in their 
tracks. The entreaties of wives and mothers and chil- 
dren went for naught. Shot after shot was fired into 
their prostrate forms until life was extinguished in all 
but Mr. Baker. Though pierced by seventeen bullets 
his splendid constitution saved him and he lives to-day. 

Equally atrocious was the murder of Judge Car- 
penter. In delicate health he had not joined the army 
of the frontier, but he sympathized earnestly with the 
Union cause and served us nobly in many ways. His 
judicial utterances were always on the side of the right, 
and thus he became an object of hatred to the ruffian 
element. Called from his home in early morn he saw 
the danger and attempted to escape by running around 
his house, hoping to get out by a side gate and away 
to some place of safety. They chased him, and when 
his wife saw he was certain to be caught she flew to 
his side and threw her arms around him, enfolding him 


in her skirts. The murderous guerrillas tried to wrest 
him away from her, failing in which they forcibly held 
her to one side and shot him down in her arms. She 
fell with him and again they tore her partially from 
him and finished their crime by repeatedly turning 
their revolvers upon him while still she clung to him 
and begged for mercy and his life. 

Most terrible was the fate of a Mr. D. D. Palmer, 
an inoffensive man who happened to be in his gun- 
shop when the murderous band came upon him. Hav- 
ing become satiated with ordinary blood-shed they 
shot him and an assistant, then fired the shop, tied the 
hands of the men and threw them into the burning 
building which, being of wood, burned fast and furi- 
ously. The wounded men arose and struggled to the 
door to be kicked back into the flames! When the 
fire had at last burned the cords from their wrists they 
again fought their way to the door and begged for 
mercy. Demoniac yells of revengeful delight came 
from their tormentors for an answer, and death, slow 
but awfully sure, was their release ! 

One hundred and fifty-four of the best business 
houses and dwellings of Lawrence were burned to 
the ground. The value of the property destroyed was 
estimated at one and one-half million dollars. Two- 
thirds of the people were homeless. Many of them 
had not a suit of clothing left and but few had a dollar 
in money. That night nearly an hundred widows and 
two hundred fatherless children sat wailing in the 
streets. One hundred and eighty-five men had been 
killed. Shorn of her pride and beauty and sons the 
city wept in sack-cloth and sat in ashes— a Phoenix 
who should one day rise again. Desolation like a pall 


hung over every home. There was nought doing but 
burial. The hearse was the only trafficker. 

Many a good name and fair is on the list of the 
lamented dead who were left bleeding on the streets of 
Lawrence on that terrible day of the raid. A partial 
list of them is appended. These men and the others 
slain deserve to have their names inscribed upon the 
pages of the history of Kansas and the Union. They 
fell martyrs to a noble cause. Upon the sacred soil 
of Lawrence, whose individual history is more in- 
timately interwoven with the history of the struggle 
for the emancipation of the Negro race than that of 
any other city in the Union, there should be erected 
a monument to these men, commemorative of the 
destruction of their town, the burning of their homes, 
and their murder, which shall tell the history of this 
awful crime to generations to come. Lawrence stands 
as the Thermopylae of Kansas and freedom. 


Albach, George Coats, George. 

Allen, E. Collamore, G. W. Mayor. 

Alwes, George. Crane, John L. 

Anderson, John. Clona, Charles. 

Allison, D. C. Cooper, James. 

Argel, Jas. Coleman, L. D. 

Allen, Clay (colored). Cornell, L 

Bell, Capt. Geo. W. Dix, Ralph. 

Bowen Samuel. Dix, Stephen. 

Brechteshaner, James. Dyer, Uncle Frank. 

Brant, E. Dulinsky, Sylvester. 

Burt, George. Eheles, August. 

Burnes, Dennis. Eldridge, Jas. 

Burns, Michael. Ellis Frank (colored). 

Carpenter, Judge Louis. Evans, John. 



Englar, Carl. 
Englesman, Samuel. 
Fitch, Edward P. 
Fillmore, Lemuel. 
Frawley, John. 
Frank, Joseph. 
Fritch, S. H. 
Giebal, Anthony. 
Gentry, Levy. 
Green, John. 
Gates, Levy. 
Gill, John. 
Griswold, Dr. J. P. 
Griswold, Watt. 
Gregg, Geo. 
Hay, Chester. 
Hoge, Calvin. 
Holmes, Nathan. 
Johnson, M. 
Johnson, Ben. 
Jones, Samuel. 
Kimball, Fred. 
Keefe, Pat. 
Klaus, Wen. 
Klaus, Fred. 
Kleffer, W. M. R. 
Lawrie, John. 
Lawrie, William. 
Leonard, Christopher. 
Lambert, Noe. 
Little, John. 
Limbach, Henry. 
Laner, Christian. 
Longley, Otis. 
Loomis, Rich. 

Lowe, Joseph. 
McClelland, Amos. 
McFadden, J. 
Martin, Robt. 
Murphy, Dennis. 
Martha, Samuel, 
Martin, Michael. 
Meeky, M. 


Nathan, W. 

Oldham, Anthony (cord). 
Oerhie, Jno. 
Oneil, Jas. 
Palmer, Charles. 
Palmer, Daniel W. 
Ferine, James. 
Pope, Geo. 
Pollock, J. 

Purrington, David H. 
Roach, Jacob. 
Reedmiller, A. 
Reynolds, Samuel. 
Range, Geo. 
Range, Samuel. 
Speer, John M. 
Snyder, Rev. S. S. 
Stewart, Henry. 
Smith, Charles. 
Schwab, John. 
Sanger, Geo. H. 
Sargent, G. H. 
Stonestreet, Benj. 
Stone, Nathan. 
Swan, L. L. 
Thorp, S. M. 


Trask, Josiah C. Zimmerman, John. 

Turk, David. Woods, James. 

Wise, Louis. Waugh, Addison. 
Williamson, John. 

The following were "Unmustered Recruits" who 
were killed in their tents unarmed: 

Anderson, C. Parker, Ashbury. 

Allen, Chas. R. Parker, Isaac. 

Cooper, Jas. F. Riggs, Chas. F. 

Green, John R. Speer, Robt. 

Griswold, Walter B. S. Watson, John. 

Walderman, Aaron. Waugh, Wm. A. 

Markel, David. Wilson, Jas. 

Markel, Lewis. Woods, Andrew. 
Markel, Samuel. 

Of a company of twenty-three recruits, of the ages 
of from eighteen to twenty years, only five escaped 
with their lives. 

Note. — There is some doubt about the orthography 
of Quantrell's name. So far as I am able to learn, it 
has always been spelled as I have spelled it. In later 
years an "i" has taken the place of the *'e" in the last 
syllable. The pronunciation has always been *'Quan- 




The most miraculous incident in my eventful life 
is my escape from death at the hands of the guerrillas 
at the time of the Quantrell raid. There were many 
narrow escapes experienced by our citizens on that 
awful morning, but none of which I have knowledge 
is more strikingly illustrative of the dangers and ter- 
rors of the situation, nor of the fortitude and courage 
and resourcefulness under the most trying ordeals of 
a heroine having faith in herself, faith in her God and 
devotion to her husband and family. Could I but 
remove self from the recital of this occurrence I would 
freely proclaim that of all the individual incidents of 
the war none is more deserving of record, none more 
pregnant with heroism, none more truly illustrative 
of the bravery of the gentler sex when called upon to 
face the most exacting trials of life. 

I had been ill and was wakeful through the night. 
About four o'clock in the morning I was awakened 
by the sound of horses' hoofs directly in front of my 
dwelHng on the Northwest corner of the public park 
in the Southern part of the town. Arising hastily I 
partly dressed and went to the door opening to the 
east on our upper piazza and saw three horsemen rid- 
ing rapidly out of town to the South. I felt that some 
calamity was impending and said to my wife that I 
was afraid something terrible was going to happen. 
She replied that I was ill and nervous, that there had 


been a railroad meeting the night before and that 
some of the countrymen who had been in attendance 
were doubtless going out early to their work on their 
farms. Thus assured I felt easier and lay down 
again, though troubled in mind and still fearful that 
the presence of those horsemen and their rapid ride to 
the Southward boded no good. It was so near getting- 
up time that I did not fully undress, but lay on the 
side of the bed with trousers on. 

A half hour later my wife decided to get up, re- 
marking that she had planned to take the older boys 
and go wild grape gathering that day, and that she 
believed she would get breakfast and start early that 
a full day might be put in in the woods. She arose, 
commenced dressing and called the children that it 
was time to get up. Dawn was just streaking the 
eastern horizon, and she went to the front windows to 
raise the curtain to let in the light. As she looked 
out Southeastwardly she was attracted by a body of 
troops entering the outskirts of the town. She looked 
attentively for a minute and turning quickly ex*- 

*'Pa, get up! There is a company of soldiers com- 
ing into town. I believe it is Quantrell and his men!" 

I bounded to the door just in time to see them 
shoot down Rev. Mr. Snyder as he sat milking his 
cow in front of his house, and was confirmed in my 
wife's fears that Quantrell was upon us. As I watched 
the raiders for a minute they began to break into 
squads and fly to different parts of the town, shooting 
right and left as a man would appear in sight, and 
calling men to their front doors in their night dresses 
to kill them at sight. 

I did not stop to dress further, except to throw on a 
shirt and put on my shoes, and thus arrayed I ran 


down stairs, out of the house to the stable and turned 
loose on the common back of our lot a blooded horse 
and a pony we had in the barn, thinking them less 
likely to be stolen if loose upon the prairie than if tied 
in the stable. 

By this time my boys, William and Edmund, aged 
respectively twelve and ten years, were dressed, as was 
also our son Joseph, aged seven. My wife had Frank, 
six months old, in her arms and Josie by her side, and 
begged earnestly that with the older boys I should 
take to Mount Oread lying a quarter of a mile to the 
West and try to get to the bushes beyond it. So we 
started up the prairie to the foot of the hills, running 
together, Mrs. Fisher remaining behind with the 
younger children. 

As I ran I felt all the time that I was going away 
from the only place of safety. I was weak from my 
illness and knew that I could not run far nor fast. 
Furthermore, upon glancing up the hill I could see 
pickets stationed every hundred yards or so, so that 
it would be impossible for me to get through their 
line alive. The boys were smaller and could dart 
through the hazel and sumach bushes skirting the 
hill, and they ran on while I decided to go back to 
the house. 

Wilhe fell in with a school fellow named Robbie 
Martin, an older and larger boy, and they ran to- 
gether. Robbie's mother had made him a suit of 
clothing out of his father's old soldier clothes, and as 
the boys ran together near one of the pickets he was 
attracted by the uniform and gave them chase, killing 
young Martin right by my boy's side, his brains and 
blood spattering in Willie's face, frightening him al- 
most to death and so terrorizing him that he has never 
fully recovered his nervous vigor. 


Edmund got separated from his brother in their 
flight and caught up with Freddie Leonard, a boy a 
year or more older than he, the two running together. 
They succeeded in evading the pickets, though shot 
at from a distance a number of times, and sought 
refuge in the town cemetery two and a half miles out. 
After their first terror had somewhat subsided they 
became frightened at being in a graveyard and sought 
a place of hiding in a patch of cotton being grown by 
an enterprising German farmer a little way from the 
cemetery. From this they could see the smoke from 
the burning town and hear the firing, and so terrorized 
were they that it was well on toward the middle of the 
afternoon before they dared venture to get a sip of 
water or to return toward the town. 

After leaving my boys as they ran I made my way 
back into my yard through a rear gate and down the 
garden walk into the kitchen and on into the cellar. 
Our house was a two-story brick, with a one-story 
stone kitchen built on later. The entrance to the cel- 
lar was through the kitchen, consequently I was able 
to enter it without going through the main part of the 
house. My wife heard me, however, and asked if it 
was I who had gone down stairs. I replied in the 
affirmative, whereupon she expressed her fear that I 
had done wrong, telling me that the guerrillas were 
killing everybody they could find to shoot at and that 
she was afraid they would find and kill me too. I 
told her of the pickets on the hill and of how weak I 
found I was as I tried to run, and that under the cir- 
cumstances there was nothing to do but to come back 
and take my chances. 

"Well, trust in the Lord and pray that he may save 
you. I will pray also, and do all I can for you," she 


replied, as she left the cellar way and went to the front 
part of the house to look after Josie and the baby. 

She had hardly got to the front part of the house 
when four of the murderous villains rode up to the 
front gate, dismounted and demanded admittance. I 
was lying just beneath the front hall, parallel with it 
and near the front door, and could hear every word 
they said. 

Accosting my wife with oaths they inquired, "Is 
your husband about the house?" 

"Do you think," she replied, "that he would be fool 
enough to stay about the house and you killing every- 
body you can? No, sir; he left with the little boys 
when you first came into town." 

With an oath one of them contradicted her, and to 

her astonishment and mine replied, "I know a d d 

sight better; he's in the cellar; where is it?" 

"It is not very gentlemanly for you to doubt the 
word of a lady," she said, "and besides, I don't want 
you to swear in the presence of my children. The 
cellar is open, if you think he is there go look for your- 

The men walked right over where I was lying, 
through the dining room into the kitchen and to the 
cellar doorway. There w^as no other entrance for light 
and it looked very dark down the steps, so one of them 
turned to her and remarked, "It is too dark for us to 
go down there without a light; get us a candle." 

"We don't burn candles," she replied. 

"What do you burn for a light if you don't burn 

"We burn oil — in a lamp," was her answer. 

They demanded a lamp and my wife, believing the 
only way to save me was to throw them off the track, 
freely gave it to them. As the man after taking it from 


her attempted to light it he turned the wick down into 
the bowl and turned to her to ask her assistance. She 
looked at it and told him he had ruined it, that it would 
take half an hour at least to get it so it would burn. 

This diverted them for the time and they set about 
ransacking the house, appropriating unto themselves 
everything they could find of value and many articles 
that were new to them but which possessed no value. 
Finally one of them said to her, ''Haven't you another 
lamp in this house?" 

''Yes," she replied, "but it is up stairs." 

She was ordered to go and get it, but protested that 
she could not carry the baby and suggested that one 
of them must go and get the lamp or hold the baby 
while she went for it. 

One of their number took Frank from her arms 
and walked the floor with him, cooing to him to keep 
him quiet while his mother went for the lamp, perhaps 
wondering the while whether the father whose life they 
were seeking had eyes like the baby's eyes and what 
would become of the child if they took his life. 

I heard my wife come down the front stairs and 
knew that in her hand she held the lighted lamp with 
which they were to search for me, and was almost per- 
suaded to save them the trouble by emerging from the 
cellar and surrendering myself into their hands. Just 
then, however, I heard the man to whom she handed 
the lamp say: 

"Come on, now, cock your revolvers and kill at 

This determined my action and I gave up the 
thought of surrendering, knowing that it meant cer- 
tain death. As I reached this conclusion they began 
to descend the stairway into the cellar and my hfe 
hung as by a thread. 


The body of our house was twenty by thirty feet in 
dimension. The cellar was but eight by fourteen feet, 
occupying the middle part of the space beneath the 
house. It had been dug just deep enough and large 
enough to accommodate our immediate necessities, it 
having been our intention to complete it later. The 
dirt which had been excavated had been thrown up on 
the bank between the limits of the cellar and the 
foundation walls of the house, more on one side than 
the other. When I entered I crawled upon the bank 
on that side of the excavation and lay behind the bank 
of dirt thus carelessly thrown up. I lay flat upon my 
back, and as my face was deeper than wide I turned 
my head on the flat, also, and lay as close to the earth 
as I possibly could. My left foot shook so that I was 
compelled to place my right foot upon it to keep it 

Just as I got as snugly in position as was possible 
the scoundrels entered. There were three of them, 
one having remained behind to guard the house 
against approach. The ceiling was low, and as the 
man who held the lamp in one hand, a cocked revolver 
in the other, stepped to the floor he was compelled to 
stoop to keep from striking his head against the joists. 
In stooping he brought the lighted lamp directly un- 
der his face, and the heat and glare caused him to hold 
it to one side, the side on which I was lying within 
a few feet of him. This threw the shadow of the bank 
of dirt over me and they did not see me. My wife had 
so completely thrown them off of their guard that 
their search was not thorough, else I would not be 
here to tell the story. I could see them plainly, could 
even have reached over and touched the leader on the 
shoulder. But thev did not see me and I was saved. 


'The shadow of the Almighty was over me," and un- 
der his wings He protected me. My heart stood still. 
I did not breathe. Every act of my life came before 
me like a panorama. I lived but did not live. I died 
but did not die. In God's goodness and mercy the 
hour of my departure had not yet come. I was naked 
and helpless before my own conscience and could 
see eternity as plainly as noonday. 'This poor man 
cried and the Lord heard him and delivered him from 
all his enemies." Blessed be the name of the Lord, he 
saved me when salvation seemed impossible, when 
death was at hand, when deliverance had ceased to be 
hoped for! 

During this fearful ordeal the agony of my wife's 
soul can readily be imagined. As the guerrillas took 
the lamp from her and went to the cellar doorway she 
passed quickly to the front part of the house, pressed 
the baby to one ear and her hand to the other to 
deaden the noise of the fatal shots she now expected 
to hear and to drown my death groans. Her agony 
was intense. Her soul was tried to the uttermost. 
Her heart-strings were almost rended asunder; and 
especially since she had almost become convinced that 
her courageous assurance had not misled the villains 
and that in part upon her pure hands might rest my 
blood. If it was an awful moment for me, what must 
it not have been for her? As I calmly consider what 
she must have passed through during the minutes 
those murderous men were seeking my life I am 
filled with admiration for her courage, her fortitude, 
her confidence in God. It is one of the grandest ex- 
hibitions of womanly devotion and hope of which there 
is record. Had she swerved in the least degree, had 
she allowed her emotions to overcome her, had she 


allowed her fears to be seen, all would have been lost. 
God never blessed man with a nobler wife than mine, 
nor one possessed of greater courage and resourceful- 
ness in time of trouble. To God and His servant, my 
wife, I owe my life, my all. 

Finding themselves bailed in their pursuit of the 
hated pioneer preacher whose life they had so often 
sought, one of the men said to the others with an 
oath, 'The woman told the truth. The rascal has es- 
caped," and they turned and left the cellar. 

When they were gone I found that the suspense 
had been most awful and that it had left me as one 
dead. It was a physical efifort to return to life, and it 
was a moment before I fully realized that whether in 
or out of the body the Lord had marvellously saved 
me thus far. 

When those cold-hearted villains went up into the 
dining room my wife's confidence and courage re- 
turned and she took the lamp from one of them, ex- 
tinguished the flame, and said to him : 

"You will believe me, now, I hope. I told you my 
husband had gone an hour ago. You needn't suppose 
that any one is going to be fool enough to remain 
around and be shot down if he can get away." 

He uttered a muttered oath, continued the search 
for valuables and ordered the house fired, as it was 
one that was doomed to go. After the fire had been 
started up stairs they left one of their number to stand 
guard, the others riding off to further deviltry. 

"Madam," said the one who remained, "if there is 
anything you wish to save I'll help you save it." 

"Turn in and help me put out the fire," she replied, 
as she struggled to stamp and smother it out in vari- 
ous places. 


"It would cost me my life to do that," he replied, 
"but I can help you save your stuff if you want me 

'Tf you can't help me put out the fire," she said, 
"just get on your horse and ride off, telling them that 
it was burning when you left and I'll soon put it out 

*T will do so," he said, "but it will do you no good, 
for this is one of the marked houses and is bound 
to go." 

He mounted his horse and rode off, cautioning my 
wife to save what she could as the house would surely 
be burned. She thinks he was the one to whom she 
handed the baby when she went for the lamp and that 
this confidence in him and the child's cooing had 
touched his heart. 

My wife carried water up stairs and extinguished 
the flames, and having flooded the floors and beds 
thoroughly came again to the cellar door. 

*Ta," said she, "those men who were hunting you 
set fire to the house in several places and left, but I 
have put the fire all out so you have no need of being 
afraid; I must go now and attend to Frank for he is 
crying for me. But I am afraid another party may 
come and find you yet and kill you, and I want to 
know, if they should, are you ready to die? That 
knowledge would be better to us than all besides." 

I told her how I felt, and she said, "Continue to 
pray and trust in the Lord, and I'll do all I can to save 
you; I must go now." 

She left me and it seemed like a long time until she 

returned. Lying on the ground, as I was, I could 

hear the horses' feet and the roar of the burning town, 

the noise of the falling houses, the shouts of the 



human demons and the screams of the dying. It 
seemed indeed as if pandemonium reigned and that a 
whirlwind of destruction was sweeping over the city. 
Imagine, if possible, my relief when I heard the voice 
of my wife as she came near, talking loudly to the 
children that I might know it was she. 

They had scarcely reached the parlor when three 
other of the murderers came rushing into the hall 
inquiring, ''Madam, are you a widow?" 

*'Not unless you men have found my husband out- 
side and have killed him,'' said she. "He left the 
house with our little boys when you first came to 
town. There has been a party of your men here al- 
ready and they hunted all through the house and in 
the cellar for him, but, thank God, they did not find 

"I am d d glad of it," replied the impulsive 


They did not visit the cellar, my wife had so com- 
pletely thrown them off the track. But when they 
saw the house had been fired by their comrades and 
that the fire had been extinguished, and having drank 
whisky freely before coming, they were very angry 
and swore that the house must be burned, "as it is 
one that was marked to be destroyed." 

This second band broke the window shutters and 
chairs and book-case into fuel, made kindling wood of 
the furniture, and fired the house more effectually than 
before. Then two of the number left. The other one, 
now drunk and murderous, remained with revolver in 
hand and swore he would kill my wife if she attempted 
to go up stairs and put out the fire. She slammed the 
door in his face and began drawing water out of the 
well, filling buckets, tubs and pans. When the fire 
had driven this fiend out of the hall and into the 


Street she saw that fire from the main building had 
ignited the kitchen roof, and reahzing that through 
the kitchen was my only way of escape she climbed 
upon the cook stove and dashed water on the under 
side of the board roof, then drew a table near outside, 
set a stand upon that, and putting pans and buckets 
of water on the roof climbed up and threw the water 
upon it, thus saving the kitchen. 

But she saw another danger. The roof of the main 
building projected over the kitchen, and the burning 
cornice was about to fall. So she got down, filled her 
buckets and pans anew and again climbed to the roof 
and after dashing a pan of water over her dress to 
keep the fire from lighting her clothes stood with the 
roaring fire in front of her until the flaming cornice 
fell at her feet. Then she dashed water on it where it 
was nailed together at the crest, and stamping it apart 
tumbled it off the kitchen and threw the rest of the 
water on the roof. 

Then came still a new danger. The small windows 
in the rear wall of the main building were on fire and 
might fall outward on the kitchen and yet set it on 
fire. So she called to Joseph, our seven year old boy, 
to give her a stick of cord wood and with this she 
punched the windows into the burning building. She 
had saved her kitchen, and through it had saved me! 

The main building was built of brick,which had been 
saturated by the boys dipping them in tubs of water as 
the masons laid them in the walls, so the cementing 
together was perfect. Hence the walls stood when all 
the lumber was burned out. I was lying on the bank 
of earth just under the door that led to the kitchen, 
when the whole upper story of the house fell to the 
floor immediately over me. 



My wife then began pouring water through the 
kitchen door on the floor beyond, but the heat and 
flames became so intense that she had to draw the 
door shut to prevent them from setting fire to the 
kitchen. The lower floor burned through, fell into 
the cellar and burned to within a yard or so of where 
I was lying. T expected to be cremated alive, when 
suddenly I saw a little stream of water trickling 
through a knot-hole in the floor. I then realized what 
an unconquerable fight my wife was making for my 
life. Soon a Mrs. Shugro, a neighbor, came to where 
she was working close to where I lay and said to 
her, "Mrs. Fisher, what are you trying to save that 
piece of floor for? It won't be worth anything." 

"I don't care, I am going to save it if I can for a 
memento. Bring me more water." Then addressing 
the woman in a lower tone she said to her, "Mrs. 
Shugro, I have a secret to tell you. By the Virgin 
Mary and all the Saints" — she was a Catholic — "will 
you keep it?" 

"I will." 

"Mr. Fisher is under that floor." 

The woman raised her hands and was about to 
scream when my wife said to her, "Don't speak a 
word, for they are all around here watching for him." 

"What are you going to do to save him?" 

"Fll have him come up the cellar-way and crawl 
under that piece of carpet, and we will hide him in the 
garden under yonder little bush, covering it with the 

Then she came down into the cellar and said to me, 
"You must come out of there or burn alive; I can't 
keep the fire back any longer. I am afraid they will 
find you outside and kill you, after all; but stand here 
till I look outside and when you come up to the level 


of the floor crouch down as low as possible, crawl 
under the carpet and follow me aut into the garden to 
the little bush overgrown with morning-glory vines, 
lay flat on the ground under the bush, and I'll throw 
the carpet over it and you." 

She looked out and finding the coast clear told me 
to follow her. As I came up the stairs she dropped a 
dress over my head and shoulders. I gathered it 
about my body, crouched close to the floor, crawled 
along as close to her and the ground as I could, part 
of the time tramping on the carpet she was dragging 
from her shoulders, and followed her to the bush. 
Here I lay flat upon the ground and wormed myself 
under the little bush while my wife and Mrs. Shugro 
threw the carpet over it. When this was done and the 
women turned away there were four guerrillas by the 
fence, not eighty feet away, with guns in their hands, 
standing looking at the women. 

"Mrs. Shugro," called my wife, loudly, "Let's throw 
those chairs and things on top of this carpet. What's 
the use of saving anything from that old burning 
house and then have them burn up outside?" 

We have three of those chairs yet as heirlooms. 

They piled the chairs and everything of the kind on 
the carpet, while the bush kept them from exposing 
me. I was almost famished for a drink, and at one 
time as my wife came near I whispered to her that I 
wanted a drink of water. 

Josie, who was close by, heard me and said to his 
mother, "Pa is here somewhere; I heard him speak." 

His mother replied, "Why Josie, your papa went 
away with the boys when the men first came to town. 
You go up to the stable and bring me the rake." 

When the little fellow had gone she came close, 
tucked the carpet around the bush and warned me 


not to speak again for my life. I obeyed and laid 
there until after eleven o'clock, when the band of mur- 
derers had all left town. 

When I came out of hiding I was all but dead. I 
had gone into the cellar before five o'clock and had 
been under intense mental strain and had been four 
times in imminent danger of death in those six hours 
of most terrible and indescribable experience, all of 
which my wife had passed in agony and heroic effort 
to save her husband. When I came out from under the 
carpet and bush our house and all we owned in it 
were in ashes. 

Willie came back after a little while and told of 
Robby Martin and his terrible death, of others who 
were killed in the prairie, of how he ran past the 
picket after they had killed his little comrade and 
joined Mrs. Solomon and her children for safety, and 
how, bye and bye, another party of the guerrillas had 
come to them and asked who they were, threatening 
to kill the boys. When asked whose boy he was he 
said he was Mrs. Solomon's boy; and he told us how 
his heart was almost broken at the thought of having 
denied being my son; but he knew they hated me be- 
cause I was a chaplain in the army. 

Upon recovering our self-control we went down 
town to find that more than one hundred and eighty 
of our citizens had been killed and many of them 
burned until they could not be recognized. The 
whole business part of our town was in ashes. Eighty 
widows and two hundred and fifty children were in 
indescribable grief! 

Crushed and grief stricken we returned to our own 
desolation, and remained about the ashes of our home 
until four o'clock. Edmund had not returned, and my 


wife had became almost frantic by this time, fearing 
he had been killed and was lying on the prairie un- 
cared for, or perhaps wounded and bleeding to death. 
She left her babe with a neighbor, and taking an old 
sheet and table cloth saved from the fire ran in search 
of him, calling to everybody she could see asking for 
her boy. After traversing nearly a mile she saw him 
and Freddie Leonard coming toward her, and he, see- 
ing his mother, rushed to her. She joyfully threw 
away the sheet and table cloth which she had carried 
to bind up his wounds, and ran to meet her new found 
boy. As they came near each other, he called out to 
her in fright and anguish, 

"O, Ma, is Pa or Willie killed?" 

"No, thank God," his mother answered, "we are all 

As they came down the garden walk I took the 
babe in my arms and William and Josie by my side 
and we met mother and Edmund in the garden under 
the shadow of a little peach tree, and there I put my 
arm around my wife and we all knelt on the ground 
and sent up to our Father in Heaven a volume of 
thanksgiving and praise. None but those who have 
passed through like dangers and have experienced 
like deHverance can conceive the gratitude to God that 
springs up within the heart. We realized that the 
Angel of the Lord encampeth around about them that 
fear him and keep his commandments and delivereth 

The question has often been asked of my wife, 
"Mrs. Fisher, how could you keep you courage and 
confidence and plan and do so much to save your 
husband?" And always her reply has been, "The 
Lord helped me. Has he not said, 'Call upon me in 
the day of trouble; I will deliver thee and thou shalt 
glorify me'?" 


This quaint old structure stands upon a hill overlooking T..awrence. It is the 
only one of its kind and size in the United States, and is an object of interest 
to thousands of visitors who annually visit the Historic City. It is a landmark 
which is cherished by the citizens of the town, more especially by the old residents. 
It was built in 1863, the year of the raid, at a cost of $9,700, by twelve skilled 
workmen brought over from Sweden for the purpose. It is of true Holland style, 
and is an unusually large windmill. The foundation is forty feet across, the re- 
volving cap in the dome being twenty feet in diameter. The arms are forty feet 
in length, the sails, or wing boards, being ten feet in width. With the wind 
blowing at twenty miles an hour the capacity of the mill was eighty horse 
power. It is four stories high, and was originally used for grinding wheat and 
corn. Later it was used as a machine shop, for the manufacture of farm im- 
plements. It made its last run in July, 1885. It has been purchased by the Associ- 
sttt^fl Charities of Lawrence, and will eventuaUji^be made a museum and place 




Quantrell learned that Colonel Plumb was on his 
march from Kansas City, and fled the town, going di- 
rectly south through Prairie City, making his way to 
his retreat in the Sni Hills. General Lane gathered 
all the men he could to follow him, but his men were 
poorly armed and poorly mounted. When Plumb found 
the guerrillas retreating toward him he countermarched 
and fell in between Quantrell's men and Lane's citi- 
zen band. It was expected that troops at Paola would 
intercept the retreating murderers, but they safely es- 
caped to their rendezvous on the head waters of the 
Little Blue. 

Later, after I had returned to my regiment, I was 
told by men who were captured on the Fourth 
of July when the rebel army was defeated and when 
General Grant captured Vicksburg, that as they were 
marched to Little Rock the rebels consoled them- 
selves that Lawrence had been destroyed and that "J^"^ 
Lane and that nigger-freeing chaplain. Parson 
Fisher," had been killed. General Price had given 
sanction to the massacre by sending one hundred and 
fifty Texas rangers of the worst type to aid Quan- 
trell in destroying the town, whose destruction would 
have taken place earlier but for the vigilance then 
shown in guarding It. 

Our friends in Leavenworth heard that I was killed 


and sent a deputation of men with a hack to get my 
body and family to take me to Leavenworth to bury 
my remains. Learning of my marvelous escape 
others, came with money and supplies, among them 
Brothers Geo. E. Smith, John Best, Ralston and Rev. 
D. P. Mitchell. Kind friends in Pennsylvania and 
Ohio also sent us relief, which came most timely, for 
we were left without a suit of clothing for any of us 
or a bed to sleep on, a pillow to rest our heads upon 
or a quilt or blanket or coverlet to sleep under. 

Lawrence had been from the first the center of free- 
state sentiment in Kansas, and as such was the apple of 
the eye of New England and an object of hatred to the 
pro-slavery party. It is not surprising, therefore, that 
the raid and massacre helped arouse the loyal 
North to a resolve that the rebellion should be curbed, 
in spite of the fact that just about this time the war 
for the preservation of the Union had been declared a 
failure in convocations held in Chicago. The reaction 
set in, the army was reinforced, the rebellion was 
crushed and peace restored. 

For two weeks we slept in our hay-loft,in the hay, 
without pillows or covering, and ate our meals under 
the shadow of a tree in the garden. The first week after 
the raid, while the fire was still smouldering, I hired 
carpenters and contracted for lumber to rebuild my 
house, for the walls stood like walls of iron. We cut 
trees in the woods, loaded them from the stump, and 
they never touched the ground until the joists were 
laid down at the door. In a short time the roof was on 
and the plasterers were at work completing the house 
for occupancy. It still stands, a monumental reminder 
of what v/as and what is. 

Before we were allowed to finally settle in peace. 


however, our community was subjected to several 
severe and rousing scares. On the evening of the 23d, 
while my wife and I were sitting in scanty attire in 
the shadow of our stable, our boys having retired to 
their beds in the hay, we heard an unusual noise at 
Mr. O'Connor's, a neighbor's close by. With others, 
a very dear friend of ours, a chaplain and colonel in 
the army. Dr. D., on coming to Lawrence on Saturday 
had taken occasion to censure the people for having 
allowed Quantrell's band to raid the town and had said 
with some gusto, "If we had been here we could have 
driven them out of town with stones and brickbats." 
Their other professions of courage were likewise 
somewhat remarkable, until those who had been in 
the fray felt almost as if there need have been no fray 
had these brave men been at hand. But on Sunday 
evening, when Dr. D. and others were planning to form 
a party to follow Quantrell to the ends of the earth 
and punish him, word came into the town that he and 
his murderous band were returning to make com- 
plete work of their destruction in killing men, women 
and children. The doctor was taking supper with a 
friend, where two or three of his party were with him. 
Mr. O'Connor was at home. Attracted by the noise, 
I ran to learn the occasion of the excitement. 
^^ There were Mrs. O'Connor and another lady in the 
"hack," O'Connor had hitched two wild horses to it, 
with no bridle on the horses and was tearing around 
like mad, hunting the bridles. 

"What is the matter?" I asked. "Run for your life, 
Mr. Fisher," says he, "Quantrell is coming back and 
will kill all of us." 

I ran to the stable where my wife and children were; 
we got the boys out of the hayloft and my wife and 
boys ran to the Catholic church near by, while I 


started down town to get a gun, hoping to help to de- 
fend the remainder of the town. When my wife and 
little boys reached the Catholic church the men were 
all advised to go to the country. They started on a 
run to where Dr. D. and his party were at supper. 
Our second boy outran the rest, and rushing in upon 
the company cried out, ''Run to the country, Quantrell 
is coming back to kill every body!" 

Just at that moment my wife rushed into the door 
with the babe in one arm and the other hand waving 
in the air. 

'Take your children and run for your lives," she 
cried, "Quantrell is coming!" 

The party of men did not wait for explanation, nor 
for wife nor for children, nor for hat nor revolver, but 
flew out the back door and up the hill, my wife and 
boys after them. Before she was half way up the hill 
they had crossed its top, and she saw them not again 
until the next day. She and the oldest son with the 
babe, none of them half-clad, spent the live-long 
night in a drenching rain and a chilling northerner 
in a corn field. 

The alarm proved to be false, but it vacated the 
town. Men dressed in women's clothes crossed the 
ferry to escape danger. The stampede was most ef- 
fectual. I remained down town until we were as- 
sured that it was a false alarm, when I went to the hay- 
loft to seek a little needed rest. Joseph, meantime, 
had become lost from his mother and brothers, and re- 
mained in the Catholic church. In the morning the 
little fellow came to the stable where I was sleeping 
and called piteously for his mother. I awoke to a pro- 
found impression that my wife had run to the country, 
and through fright and sheer exhaustion had per- 
ished in the darkness of that stormy night. I took 


the dear little fellow and cuddled him in the work- 
place in the hay where I had been sleeping and then 
ran here and there and everywhere, frantic with alarm, 
almost beside myself, hunting for my wife. I climbed 
on fences and called, while the hollow air seemed to 
mock my agony. I inquired of every one I met. I 
got men to guide me on horseback, while I struck 
out in the direction I finally heard my wife had gone 
the night before, and after driving a mile or more, 
met her and Mrs. Cherry, with the children, coming 
home through the wind, in the sorriest plight imagin- 
able. I wept with delight to find them unharmed. 

The moral effect of that night on the inhabitants of 
Lawrence, I have often thought, was more profound 
than the raid itself, yet it was only made possible by 
the horrible massacre which preceded it. May Heaven 
in mercy forbid the nation should ever again have 
occasion to record such a crime! 

In 1882, while I was visiting the Southwest Kansas 
Conference at Chanute, a most thrilling circumstance 
took place. On Sabbath morning a conference love- 
feast was held in the Methodist church. There was a 
large company of laymen, as well as the whole body 
of the members of conference present. Many testi- 
monies to the saving power of divine grace were given, 
and a delightful spirit of liberty prevailed. About the 
middle of the service I arose near the front part of the 
church and related briefly part of my Christian experi- 
ence. As I sat down a brother arose in the back part 
of the congregation and in a loud and triumphant 
tone cried out, "Glory to God, that I have lived to 
meet and hear Dr. Fisher tell his experience. His 
miraculous escape from Lawrence from Quantrell's 
band led to my conversion and call to the ministry." 


Every body turned to see who was speaking when 
the gentleman continued, 'Til tell you how it oc- 
curred. In August, 1863, I was employed in the gov- 
ernment service as a teamster and we were ordered to 
Ft. Smith, Arkansas, with government supplies. We 
reached the north bank of the Kaw river on the after- 
noon of the day that QuantrelFs massacre occurred. 
After we had cared for our teams we crossed the river 
and went up into the city and viewed the ruins while the 
fire was yet burning and the dead remained unburied. 
I was acquainted with John Shugro and his wife, and 
they and myself were Catholics. I calkd upon them 
at their home on the lot adjoining Dr. Fisher's home, 
which had been destroyed. Mrs. Shugro told me 
about Dr. Fisher's miraculous escape, and said it was 
all in answer to Mrs. Fisher, who said the Lord had 
heard her prayer and helped her save her husband. 
I held that surely the Lord would not hear and an- 
swer a heretic's prayer, but Mrs. Shugro insisted that it 
was true. Then I said to her, 'If the Lord hears 
heretic's prayers we ought to cease persecuting them.' 
My friend still repeated that the Lord did hear Mrs. 
Fisher's prayer and saved her husband, for no human 
being could have saved him from the fire and murder- 
ers. The next day we proceeded on our journey 
South, and all the way I felt that I was a sinner, and 
there was no priest to confess to, and I repeatedly 
thought, Tf the Lord heard a heretic pray and saved 
her husband certainly he would hear me pray,' as there 
was no priest to confess to. Finally, after we had 
started to return to Ft. Leavenworth I became so 
deeply convicted of my sins that I was very unhappy, 
and one evening after I attended to my team I went 
away ofif from the camp — in the woods — and fell on my 
knees and cried, 'O, Lord, if thou canst hear and an- 



swer a heretic's prayer, hear my prayer and save me ;' 
and I kept on praying until the Lord did hear my 
prayer and saved me. I am here to tell you that Dr. 
Fisher's deliverance from death was the cause of my 
salvation, and I am glad I live to tell him how good the 
Lord has been to me. He called me to preach the 
gospel, and I am now a member of this conference." 

The conference and multitude were thrilled with joy, 
and many came to me and said tearfully, "Dr. Fisher, 
you could well afiford to pass through the fire to save 
a Roman Catholic and make a good Methodist 
preacher out of him." 

Truly, the Lord does hear and answer prayer! 

Among the important events occurring while liv- 
ing in Lawrence was the coming of our fourth son, 
Hugh Francis, whose birth occurred on the eighth of 
February, 1863. He was six months old at the time of 
Quantrell's massacre. It was he who was held in arms 
by one of the guerrillas seeking his father's Hfe while 
his mother bravely went to get the lamp for them to 
use while searching for me. Frank was with us 
through our varied experiences in the far West, related 
further on, and served during my life as agent of the 
American Bible Society as a colporteurer, doing effi- 
cient work among the Mormons and mountaineers. 
He subsequently studied medicine with his brother in 
Texas, graduating from medical college in Chicago. 
Later he took up the special study of Ophthalmology, 
graduating in 1890 from the New York Ophthalmic 
College and Hospital, since which time he has pursued 
this special study. He has practiced for some years in 
the South, but has recently returned to our immedi- 
ate neighborhood and located in Kansas City that he 


may be near us in our closing years. He has long 
been an active worker in the church and Sabbath 
school, and has attained a satisfactory reputation as a 
competent specialist in his department of medical work. 
Several college positions have been tendered him, one 
of which he has accepted. We have reason to believe 
that a useful and efficient life will be his for many 
years to come, and that not only in the profession but 
in the church he will be able to do great good unto his 
fellow men. 

While residing in Lawrence we adopted an orphaned 
child, a bright little girl named Jennie Arthur, whose 
parents died while she was very young and whose first 
foster-parents followed soon after her adoption by 
them. Jennie became a part of our family and grew up 
to sensible womanhood under our roof. In the winter 
of 1870-71 she was happily married in Atchison, dur- 
ing my pastorate in that city, to Mr. Porter Hazeltine, 
a successful hardware merchant of Columbus, Kansas. 
This happy marriage resulted in the rearing of a fam- 
ily of several children, two of whom are now married 
and already installed in motherhood. Mr. Hazeltine 
has prospered steadily in business, and has been able 
to give to our foster-daughter all the comforts of life, 
and to provide well for his family through all the 
troubulous years that Kansas has seen. We enjoy 
our relationship to this good family as though they 
were of our own flesh and blood. 





Soon after the raid I returned South to join my 
regiment and was made superintendent of contra- 
bands. But as I was almost at once ordered on de- 
tached service by General Halleck, to report to Gen- 
eral Curtis at St. Louis for duty in New England as 
agent of the Western Sanitary Commission, I spent 
the fall of 1863-4 in this field with headquarters in 
Boston, where Governor Andrew, Amos Lawrence, 
and other noted men became my advisers. I lectured 
throughout Massachusetts and Maine, aiding in filling 
in the quota of some of these states and raising sup- 
plies for the Sanitary Commission and Freedmen's 
Bureau. While in Boston we bought a whole cargo 
captured of¥ Cape Hatteras, that was intended for the 
rebel army, and sent the supplies to the contrabands 
of the South. I had the privilege of lecturing to im- 
mense audiences in the Old South Church, and in 
Tremont Temple, Boston, and also in the city halls 
of Portland and Charleston. In February, 1864, I 
returned to St. Louis via Philadelphia, where ' I 
preached for Dr. Bartien, in Old Green Street Church, 
from "Behold, I will shake all nations, and the desire 
of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with 
My glory, saith the Lord of Hosts." 

I was shortly commissioned to visit the middle states 
in the interests which took me to New England. Dr. 
Mitchell of New York was ordered to meet me inPhil- 


adelphia and arrange the plan of appointments for me 
to lecture. My conference met in Leavenworth. 
Bishop Baker, who transferred me from the Pitts- 
burg to the Kansas conference, presided, and ap- 
pointed me presiding elder of the Baldwin District. I 
was also elected first del-egate to the general confer- 
ence, which was to meet in May in Philadelphia. 

I was ordered to the East by military authority and 
to report to headquarters every week. I also had to 
report to my colonel in the South monthly, as to 
where I was and what engaged in; and to report to 
Mr. James Yatesman, secretary of the Sanitary Com- 
mission at St. Louis, weekly. I was also superintendent 
of contrabands and refugees for Kansas and Arkan- 
sas, providing for thousands of them coming monthly 
to Kansas. My district was large, but I made it the 
basis of distributing the contrabands and refugees. 
At one and the same time I was Chaplain of the 
Fifth Kansas Volunteers, Presiding Elder of Baldwin 
City District, Agent of the Western Sanitary Com- 
mission, Superintendent of Contrabands for two states, 
Delegate to General Conference, and the director of 
an immense work in the middle states. I worked 
day and night, and received congratulations upon 
my success from Gen. Curtis, Mr. Yatesman 
and my own conference and regiment. Dr. Mitchell 
made my appointments wisely, so I could fill most of 
them and yet be in my place at the sessions of the gen- 
eral conference. Frequently, while in Philadelphia, 
I was called on to preach that memorable "Shaking 
Sermon," as it was called by Dr. Bartien's people. 

During the session of the general conference the 
first decisive battle of the Wilderness was fought. 
When the news reached the seat of conference an im- 


promptu meeting was held on the steps and in front of 
Union Chapel. Dr. Granville Moody, who had 
created a great sensation in the conference a few days 
before, made a characteristic patriotic speech — a 
marvel in its way. This was a glad day, as it was a 
turning point in the life of the Union. The Bishop said 
publicly, "Now we have hope of preserving the Union, 
since that wonderful, silent man proposes to 'fight it 
out on this line if it takes all summer.' " 

The general conference at this session extended the 
term of ministerial service to three years. I had 
served Leavenworth Station three years. Bishop Ames 
could not reach our conference, the people had 
declared an emergency, and we had a bishop pro tem 
who did not ignore that seeming emergency. 

I had advocated in Philadelphia, in 1859, ^^^ ^Y ^^^^ 
ters to the Pittsburg Christian Advocate of August, 
1859, th^ organization of a Church Extension So^ 
ciety. Mr. Long, who has served the society as treas- 
urer, and I, as early as March, 1859, consulted on this 
important matter, and in 1864 I offered a resolution, 
which was referred to a committee, proposing the or- 
ganization of such society. The plan prepared by 
Dr. Kynett and the committee was adopted, and some 
time later the society was organized and has been 
of immense benefit. 

When general conference closed I remained but a 
short time in the Eastern and Middle states, but after 
reporting to Mr. Yatesman in St. Louis called upon 
General Curtis and went into active work within the 
bounds of my district in the Interests of the refugees 
and contrabands. My district extended Eastwardly to 
the Missouri state line and West as far as white men 
lived, toward Mexico. 


Life had many ludicrous phases, even amid solemn 
circumstances. The Saturday after the Kansas Con- 
ference adjourned I started for Baldwin City to hold 
my first quarterly meeting as presiding elder. It was 
a beautiful morning. Baldwin is the seat of Baker 
University and a great center for church dignitaries. 
I harnessed one of my faithful army friends and ser- 
vants to my buggy, and with Bible, hymn-book and 
Discipline in my gripsack, whip and bucket provided, 
started to my first quarterly meeting. I traveled blithe- 
ly and joyfully three or four miles until I reached the 
Wakurusa river, the Indian name meaning"Hip-Deep." 
As I went down the steep bank and entered the stream 
to my dismay and discomfiture my front axle broke, 
the right front wheel rolled into the water, and I came 
nigh plunging out of the buggy into the stream. I 
had on my best suit, but rolled up my trousers, got 
out, and, wading in mud boot-top deep, got the buggy 
to one side, unhitched my horse, fished the wheel out 
of the mud and water and laid it on the side of the 
road. Then folding up the lap-robe to use as a sad- 
dle, with whip, bucket and gripsack I mounted on top 
of the harness and blanket and seizing the bridle reined 
my faithful steed to a keen trot, still on my way to 
quarterly meeting. I was so occupied with the 
thought of the mishap that for several minutes it did 
not enter my head what a ludicrous thing it would be 
to go riding into town in that plight. At last the sun, 
breaking through a rift of the cloud, threw my shadow 
fair on the roadside, showing me my outfit and noble 
steed in a distinctly fantastic photograph. Appreci- 
ating at once my ludricous situation I laughed out- 
right at my plight and the sight of the new presiding 
elder going to his first quarterly meeting. But I was 


both "called and chosen," so on I rode laughing, 
though heartily wishing I was not a presiding elder. 
I soon gave up the wish, however, for having reached 
a farm house I was kindly furnished with saddle and 
bridle, and leaving my unique outfit journeyed on, 
reaching my appointment in due time. 

While holding a quarterly meeting in Olathe, as the 
preacher and myself were walking toward a little 
church in which we held a love-feast at 9 A. M. and 
preached at ii, we noticed two men riding into town 
leisurely. When the love-feast opened they sat in 
their saddles in front of the door awhile, then rode 
away. We learned afterward they were noticed dur- 
ing the day riding saunteringly in different parts of the 
town, and late in the evening in the Southeastern part. 
We had a great attendance, for the preacher had been 
diligent in announcing my presence at the meeting, 
clear out to the Missouri line. The two men spoken 
of inquired of some citizens where the Methodists 
were holding their meeting, and if Elder Fisher was 
in town, and where he stopped. They were heavily 
armed, but as this was usual it attracted little or no 
attention. In the evening the attendance was so great 
that not more than half the people who came could 
get into the house. The Congregational preacher, 
who held services in Francis Hall, sent an invitation 
to us to occupy the hall. We accepted the invitation 
and while we sang a hymn some brethren lighted up 
and we transferred the crowd to the hall. It was en- 
tered by stairs and platforms on the outside. The 
people left their horses and wagons hitched near the 
church. The hall was soon filled, and many had to 
stand on the platform. Services began, and in the 
midst of my discourse I could hear from without 


voices, as if horsemen were trying to make their horses 
stand steady. I hesitated to call attention to this, 
knowing that many had left their teams at the church, 
a little way ofif and that it would arouse their fear that 
something might be wrong or that there might be 
trouble among the horses. 

I was preaching earnestly and had straightened up 
and stood squarely in one position for a moment, 
when, "Whang!" went a gun, "Crash!" went the win- 
dow South of me, and the audience screamed as a 
bullet flattened against the opposite wall and fell into 
a lady's lap. Instantly there was heard the patter of 
running horses' feet; a few men ran quickly down 
stairs, but could only hear men in the distance riding 
swiftly away in the darkness of the night. I stood 
unmoved, and said to my congregation calmly, "I 
am not hurt." The splinters of glass fell all over the 
platform where I stood, and the ball ranged from 
where it entered the glass to where it struck the wall in 
a line not a foot from my head. I took up the thread 
of my sermon, finished it and dismissed my audience, 
several of whom were army officers. One was a 
United States detective, and after examining all the 
facts he gave it as his opinion that the bullet was in- 
tended for me and only failed of its deadly aim because 
the would-be murderer did not take into account that 
firing through glass at an angle would deflect the ball. 
The ground outside showed that the horses, after the 
shot, had been spurred to their utmost speed. This 
gave occasion to my being cartooned in the Police 
Gazette as "Parson Fisher being shot at in the pulpit 
in Olathe." 

I look upon the incident as one of God's great prov- 
idences toward me, and as I pen these lines feel that 
my life has been spared for a purpose and ask, "Lord, 


what wilt thou have me do? Show me, that I may do 
it with my might." 

Subsequently I became the pastor in Olathe for two 
years of hundreds who were present in the congre- 
gation and remembered the assault upon my life, 
presumably by ex-members of Quantrell's guerrillas. 

During the term of my presiding eldership I held 
responsible positions, as president of the board of trus- 
tees of Baker University, regent of the State Uni- 
versity, president of the State Temperance Society, 
and member of the state central committee of the 
republican party. The board of regents requested me 
to spend as much time as possible in Topeka, attend- 
ing the sessions of the legislature, to aid in securing 
appropriations for the erection of university buildings 
and the maintenance of the faculty. I arranged my 
district work accordingly, and spent several weeks 
in the capital holding quarterly meetings on contig- 
uous charges. I also gave part of my time and atten- 
tion to temperance enactments. 

A bill was submitted by a representative from 
Jefiferson county which provided that no person should 
be granted a liquor license by municipal or county 
authority until he had obtained on petition a majority 
of the names of all persons, male and female, over 
twenty-one years of age, in the ward or precinct 
where he proposed to engage in the sale of intoxicants. 
The rum power fought this bill bitterly. When it 
came to its passage, seeing they could not defeat it, 
they tried a checkmate move by amending the bill to 
read that it should not take effect until published in 
the Leavenworth Bulletin, intending to pigeon-hole 
the law until the Leavenworth city council and other 
councils should issue batches of licenses to run a year, 


thus making the law of no effect. The law passed, 
was engrossed and a copy was made and mailed by 
Mr. Barker, secretary of the state, to the editor of the 
Bulletin. The ice was running thick in the Kansas 
river and there was no bridge except at Lawrence, 
twenty-eight miles below. The council-men of Leav- 
enworth who were at Topeka were telegraphed to 
come home immediatetly as there was not a quorum 
present. They chartered a stage and started at mid- 
night, ran down to Lawrence, crossed the river on the 
bridge and took cars for home to hold a council meet- 
ing that night, thinking thus to head off the law. In 
the morning the man whose duty it was to put the 
mail containing the law on the train failed to cross 
the river on account of the ice and returned the mail to 
the office. I early learned of his failure and of the de- 
parture of the Leavenworth councilmen who had so 
opposed the law, and, hurrying to the home of the 
secretary of state awoke him and requested an order 
on the postmaster for the copy intended for the Bul- 
letin, which he wrote for me without hesitancy. 

Thus provided, I hurried to the postoffice, where 
the postmaster had just arrived who quickly opened the 
mail pouch and gave me the desired paper. I hastened 
to the telegraph office and sat by the side of the op- 
erator until the last word of the act was sent to the 
editor by wire, who, when he received the law thought 
it was sufficiently important to be published promptly 
as it had been sent by telegraph; so he put his whole 
force to work and when the councilmen from Topeka 
arrived at the depot at Leavenworth the news boys 
were selling the paper, calling out, "Here's your Leav- 
enworth Bulletin, with the new dram-shop law in it!'' 
The councilmen swore and ''tore the ground" in anger 
and chagrin. One of them, a Dutchman, said to the 


rest: "I tole you whot; dot is de work of dot med- 
dlesome Mettodist breacher." They did not have a 
council meeting that night. We beat them by acting 
on the impulse of the moment, not knowing their 
plans. The Lord led us in our efforts to restrain 
wickedness. The designs of evil men were brought to 
naught, and law was triumphant. 

During my presidency of the temperance society 
there occurred a very interesting convention in To- 
peka. I drew up and presented the first resolution 
ever offered to a convention in any state memorializ- 
ing the legislature of the state of Kansas to submit 
the question of legal prohibition by constitutional 
amendment and enactment to a vote of the people. 
Col. Lines, of Wabaunsee county, then pension agent, 
seconded my resolution in an able speech. But it was 
opposed by Hon. Geo. T. Anthony, Benjamin Kin- 
caid and others. All the women in the convention 
voted for the resolution, but it failed by a small vote. 

I then took my resolution, flaunted it in the face of 
the enemy and said to them, "Gentlemen, we nail this 
proposition to the mast-head of the good ship Tem- 
perance, and we will never strike our colors till Kan- 
sas is redeemed, and the national constitution is 
amended, forever prohibiting the manufacture, impor- 
tation and sale of intoxicating Hquors as a beverage!" 

Our dram-shop act was very efficient until am- 
ended, giving cities of the first and second class 
the privilege of dispensing with the petition. This 
change facilitated the movement of prohibition, for 
the rural districts bore the burden imposed by the 
cities' debauch and drunkenness. 




A seat in the United States Senate has always been 
looked upon as one of as great honor and dignity as 
a place on the bench of the United States Court. Each 
state, irrespective of population and wealth, by virtue 
of being a sovereign state and a member of the national 
sisterhood, is entitled to two seats in the United States 
Senate. It has always been, or should always have 
been, the ambition of the states to select their choicest 
men to occupy these posts of dignity and honor; and 
it has always been, or should always have been, if it has 
not, the one great object of a United States Senator to 
fill with fidelity the exalted position to which he has 
been chosen by his state. 

Until the admission of California into the sisterhood 
of commonwealths there had always been an earnest 
effort on the part of the slaveholding stales to control 
the nation by keeping the balance of power in the Sen- 
ate and on the Supreme Bench. The admission of the 
Golden State g'ave that balance to the anti-slavery 
party and made the securement of Kansas to the pro- 
slavery cause an end greatly to be desired. But when 
Kansas was admitted to statehood on the twenty-ninth 
of January, 1861, the die was cast and slavery was 
doomed. The Legislature convened in joint session 
on March 26th, 1861, and elected Samuel C. Pomeroy, 
of Atchison, and General James H. Lane, of Lawrence, 
as senators to represent the young Spartan state at 


Washington in the upper branch of Congress. These 
honorable senators occupied their seats with great dis- 
tinction, and in various relations of importance with 
President Lincoln and bis war secretary, Edwin M. 
Stanton, serving their state with fidelity and zeal 
through the trying period of our great civil war. 

But, with senatorial duties and quasi-military service 
Gen. Lane was so untiring and zealous that at length 
his strength gave way and his iron constitution showed 
signs of breaking down. It was while thus overworked 
and undone by the grave responsibilities of those early 
Kansas years that, in an unfortunate moment, he 
yielded to the temptation of President Johnson of the 
growing patronage of his adopted state and voted 
agamst the measures of Seward and Sumner and Chase, 
against all his former free-states friends and the Civil 
Rights Bill, which engrossed the attention of the Na- 
tion at that time, thereby alienating himself from his 
party and his warm personal friends and ardent ad- 
mirers m Kansas and over the Union. The knowledo-e 
of this alienation was more than he could bear, and the 
additional burden so told upon him that his strength 
gave completely away and he was brought home to re- 
cuperate. As he learned the disappointment of his 
Kansas supporters and friends his despondency be- 
came even greater, so completely overwhelming him 
that he sought relief in death by his own hands, suicid- 
ing while out driving for his physical well-being in an 
ambulance at the miHtary post at Fort Leavenworth 

I was immediately called to Leavenworth by tele- 
gram and spent his dying hours with my old com- 
mander and his family, administering such comfort to 
them as was possible under the sad circumstances by 
which they were confronted, and upon his death was 
most earnestly urged by his widow and family and by 


their immediate friends and a large number of leading 
citizens of Kansas as his successor. So extensive was 
this sentiment that I was soon summoned to Topeka 
by Gov. Crawford and tendered the appointment. The 
vacancy developed any number of candidates. One 
public man offered to place the sum of fifty thousand 
dollars at the disposal of the chief executive for the po- 
sition. Another wept and prayed, and almost went 
to the opposite extremes and cursed and raged when 
not chosen. 

When I received the message from the governor that 
he desired my presence my wife and I went to our pri- 
vate room and laid the matter before God in prayer, 
praying that He might guide me aright in making a de- 
cision. I was then Presiding Elder of the Baldwin City 
District, which began at the Missouri line and extended 
westward into New Mexico as far as civilization wient. 
This was a church work of great importance, and 
needed careful attention. I felt that I could not aban- 
don it without heavenly guidance, and when I started 
to Topeka was undecided what course to pursue. 

Upon reaching the governor's private office he an- 
nounced his intention of appointing me to the vacant 
senatorship. I explained to him my relations to the 
church and the importance of my eldership to the work 
of my district, and declined to accept the appointment 
if it carried with it my retirement from the ministry to 
which I had been called of God. This left the matter 
open, and after a lengthy conference it was agreed that 
I should return to Lawrence and consult with my fam- 
ily. Early next day I received another telegram from 
the governor to repair to Topeka at once, as he had de- 
termined upon naming me for the vacancy. Again we 
entered the chamber of prayer and laid the cause be- 
fore our Maker and again I reached the conclusion not 


to accept the seniatorship if thereby I was compelled 
to lay down my license to preach the gospel. Twice 
during the war I had refused to accept a colonelcy at 
this expense, and now, with a seat in the United States 
senate laid before me I still felt that my call from God 
was of greater importance than any earthly call that 
might be made upon me and decided accordingly, urg- 
ing upon the governor to appoint some one else. He 
finally yielded to my request, and named Major E. G. 

This is a matter which has often given me the deep- 
est concern. I have been perplexed time and again 
to know if I did the right thing and at the righf time. 
The remarkable struggle among men for senatorial 
honors from then till now makes me sometimes feel 
that I made the mistake of my life; but when I contem- 
plate the bitterness and wreckage that have strewn the 
senatorial seas I am led to think that I did for the best, 
and I sometimes deem my escape from the maelstrom 
of politics almost as remarkable as my escape from the 
murderous hands of Quantrell and his men. Without 
particularizing, I need not go beyond the confines of 
Kansas, my own beloved state, to point out senatorial 
wreckage from the like of which I may well thank my 
heavenly Father that I have been delivered, 

'There is a Providence 
That shapes our ends, 
Rough hew them 
As we may." 

Following close upon this senatorial possibility an- 
other political honor was tendered me and also de- 
clined. At the state convention of the Republican 
party, at that time overwilielmingly dominant in Kan- 
sas, Gov. Crawford and his friends decided upon my 


name as their candidate for the state superintendency 
of Public Instruction. Tlie caucus had entered upon 
its work and there was no organized opposition. The 
nomination meant the election. But at this critical 
juncture my brother presiding elders, Revs. D. P. 
Mitchell and W. R. Davis, deeming my services more 
necessary to the church than to the state, urged me to 
decline and remain on the District. We three presid- 
ing elders prayed over the matter as my wife and I had 
done over the senatorship, seeking the direction of God 
that I might be directed aright. As in the other case 
so in this; it was decided 'that my work was in the 
church rather than in politics, and I declined to allow 
my name to go before the convention. Rev. Peter Mc- 
Vicar, of the Episcopal Church, was chosen and elected 
by a large majority, as was the entire Republican ticket. 
I remained presiding elder of my enormously large dis- 
trict for the full term of four years, and when my time 
was up was assigned the pastorate at Atchison. 

At that time I was a member of the State Central 
Committee of the Republican party and a Regent of 
the State University. My record in these positions 
has been written. And "That which has been written 
has been written." 

As I review these moments of political opportunity 
and grow worldly in my reveries I am led to think I 
acted most unwisely in declining to go to the senate, 
and almost as unwisely in declining the nomination for 
the superintendency of Public Instruction for Kansas. 
Military, political and educational preferment have 
great charms for most men, and I am not unmindful 
of their advantages and emoluments. But as I view 
this subject from a Christian viewpoint and as one be- 
lieving fully in the Divine Call to the work of the Chris- 
tian Ministry, and as I recall how by keeping out of pol- 


itics I have been enabled to do my part toward laying 
a broad and deep foundation for the grand Christian 
commonwealth which has risen from those early days 
of territorial and infant statehood, I look upon my de- 
cision with satisfaction and believe I wtas in each in- 
stance directed by the author of good to those who 
trust Him. 

I might have attained honor; but I might liave ob- 
tained dishonor. 

I might have gained riches; but how many men 
might have laid it up against me that I obtained them 
by dishonesty in political life. 

I might have obtained the gratitude of some who 
have not been my friends by having obtained positions 
for them; but I would have lost the opportunity of 
being identified as I have been with the growth of our 
church, school, temperance, social and national inter- 

I have thought to title this book "How I Hit it and 
How I Missed It," weaving into my story circum- 
stances and opportunities like these to justify the title. 
Perhaps I missed it in not engaging in a political in- 
stead of a spiritual life. But when the last great day 
shall have come and the great Book of Life shall be 
opened I am more inclined to believe that it will be ac- 
corded that instead of having missed anything by the 
declinations of worldly honor it shall be inscribed that 
it is just here that I have attained that full fruition that 
comes to them who serve the Lord. 




When my term as presiding elder had ended I was 
stationed by Bishop Thompson in Atchison. I had 
here dedicated a frame church in 1859. It was illy 
located, however, being at one side of the town, on a 
hill and out of the way. It had always been difficult 
to secure a congregation. The house had been neg- 
lected and was delapidated; the west foundation had 
careened so as to draw the sill from under the 
joists, and had left the floor teetering as people walked 
upon it, so that house, as well as congregation, was in 
danger of collapse. Old indebtedness and aHenations 
of friendships existed, and the outlook was anything 
but encouraging. 

Knowing that church debts are always damaging to 
church growth I resolved, with the aid of the Ladies' 
Society, to revive the church, pay the debts, repair the 
house and try to secure a congregation that would 
demand and build a new church in reasonable time. 
We raised about five hundred dollars, with great dif- 
ficulty, and when the old church was repaired and 
beautified we had a re-opening which became the 
harbinger of promise and success. This done we be- 
gan the work of upbuilding in good earnest and 
courage. The people though poor had a mind to 

In this charge I had two typical families — one poor 
but pious, the other rich and worldly-minded. In these 


two homes wealth and fashion contrasted severely 
with piety and devotion. Brother B. had great wealth, 
had been a member of the church for years, but had 
never learned to pray or speak in meetings. Brother 
D. was powerful in prayer and rich in experience, very 
industrious, as was his wife, economical, cultured and 
frugal, their intelligence contrasting favorably with 
the family of affluence, who were gay and vain, attend- 
ing parties, balls and theaters occasionally. None of 
Brother B.'s children were Christians, nor were any 
members of the church, while Brother D.'s whole fam- 
ily were both and constant in their attendance on 
class and prayer meeting. Brother B. said to me 
often, "Parson, you must do the praying; I'll do my 
share of paying. I can't pray. I never learned how;" 
while Brother D. often said, "I'll help all I can both 
financially and spiritually, for I have resolved with 
Joshua that 'As for me and my house, we will serve 
the Lord!'" Both these families filled their chosen 
niches, but the contrast was so manifest that it was 
often the subject of remark, and none could fail to 
see the advantage of piety and devotion and the su- 
perior value of Brother D. to the church. We often 
wished and prayed that the rich brother would couple 
with his wealth and influence the piety and zeal which 
were manifested in the poor man, so as to become a 
blessing to the church. Now that they and the writer are 
getting near the close of life. Brother D, still poor in 
the world's goods, is still growing rich toward God in 
faith and good works* 

The building of a new church involves a great strain 

♦Since the above was written Brother D. has reaped his reward, 
■while Brother B. is self-eatisfied in possession of his millions, which he 
must soon leave to others. 


on minister and people, under almost any circumstan- 
ces, and in Kansas in early days this was peculiarly 
true. Yet we pressed the work, with the reasonable 
co-operation of the members and friends of the 
church, to a state of satisfactory completion, and be- 
fore my pastorate ended moved our growing Sabbath 
school and congregation into much more commodious 
and convenient quarters in the basement of the new 
building, taking possession with rejoicing and praise 
to God. This was a great achievement, as we were 
now centrally located. Methodism took a new start 
and a broader sweep of usefulness, and became and 
remains a leading factor in reformatory and saving 
agencies in that growing community. The church 
and Sabbath school have grown very largely in in- 
fluence and members since then. 

I spent a very pleasant pastorate, a three years term, 
in Atchison, during which time we enjoyed a visit from 
my wife's aged mother and my equally aged and much 
respected step-mother, whose society our children and 
the members of the church greatly enjoyed. They 
were objects of interest on account of their plain style 
of dress and bordered caps, which were severely in 
contrast with western fashions. Their visit to us was 
a great benefit to us. 

We had in our society here the widow and blind 
daughter of the martyred Rev. Anthony Bewly, who 
was massacred in Bonham, Texas, for his loyalty to 
his church and country. His bones were left to bleach 
on the roof of a shed, in the rays of a tropical sun. 
A more prudent and conservative man and minister 
could not have been found. He died a hero and a mar- 
tyr for the cause of Christ and humanity. Mother Bewly 
and her daughter still live within the bounds of the 


conference of which their husband and father was a 
member at the time of his death. 

While living in Atchison we were led by the ad- 
vice of physicians and our own knowledge of his condi- 
tion to place our oldest son on a farm to avert nervous 
break-down superinduced by the terror caused by the 
massacre at Lawrence. Two of my wife's brothers, 
practical farmers, had come out from Ohio and bought 
adjacent lands in Atchison County. I bought with 
them and built and the married brother's family moved 
into my house on the home farm. William was placed 
with them, and here in good part regamed his health. 

The summer after placing him with his uncle and 
family I went to the farm on a visit and was out in 
the field with him when he was partially overcome by 
the heat. I sent him to the house and took his place be- 
hind the plow, while he sought rest. His aunt and four 
children were with him in the house, when, almost with- 
out warning, a Kansas cyclone came sweeping across 
the country and struck the house with all its mighty 
force before the inmates could flee for safety. The struc- 
ture was lifted from its foundation as if it were a straw, 
carrried fully twenty feet, perhaps more, into the air, 
and thrown with such violence to the ground as to 
completely demolish it. My sister-in-law and the 
cook-stove were thrown through a small window 
together. The stove was full of fire, as it 
was baking day, and the live embers were scattered in 
every direction. My boy was dashed feet foremost 
out of the house, while the children were hurled amid 
the general wreckage like so many pigmies. Ever)' 
one in it was more or less bruised, but, although the 
house was completely destroyed, by the Grace of God 
none of them were seriously hurt. 


As an incident illustrating what strange things may 
happen in occurrences like this let me recite one which 
is difficult of belief. Joseph, our third son, had been 
saving hen's eggs and duck's e*gs to set in due time. 
He had placed them in boxes above the window of 
the second story, and though the house was torn into 
fragments and the roof carried away down in the orch- 
ard a small section of the house, with the window and 
the eggs, was let down amid the wreck so gently that 
not an tgg was broken. 

The storm destroyed fifteen houses in its mad ca- 
reer. No lives were lost, as it occurred in the day 
time. One school house, with the teacher and chil- 
dren on the floor in their spelling class, was picked up 
by the wind, turned face about on the foundation, and 
set down so gently that not a child was hurt nor a light 
of glass broken in the windows. I soon got the wo- 
men and children from the debris and put them in a 
field close by till the storm w^as over and help ar- 
rived. Our house took fire in many places, but we 
saved the broken mass from burning by applying 
handfulls of mud wherever we discovered a flame. By 
adding new lumber and utilizing the broken timbers 
as best we could we soon rebuilt and reoccupied. 

The storm was one of astonishing vagaries and 
pranks, and the escape of my son and family who 
were in the house at the time of its instantaneous de- 
struction was almost miraculous. We had been 
burned out of our home in Lawrence, and now another 
house which all contemplated as a future home had 
been destroyed by a cyclone! But out of all "The 
Lord had brought us by His love, and still He doth 
His grace afTord, and hides our life above." 

At the close of a three years' pastorate in Atchison 


I was sent to Ottawa, which divided my family into 
four bands, and now, after more than twenty years, 
we have never been home together at one time. Our 
oldest son, above alluded to, was too young to leave 
alone on the farm and his health too precarious to 
abandon him to the care of others. So my wife, act- 
ing on her motherly instincts, decided to go to the 
farm with him while I should build a new parsonage 
in Ottawa, and to remain until she should think it 
best to join me in my new field. Our second son, 
who was reading medicine under the preceptorship 
of Dr. Johnson, removed to Lawrence to prepare for 
a second course of lectures under the direction of our 
former family physicians, Drs. Richard and Samuel 
Huson. Our adopted daughter had married Mr. D. 
P. Hazeltine and removed to Columbus, Kansas. 

The new church at Ottawa was built by Rev. J. F. 
Nesley, the lower story dedicated by the author sev- 
eral years before, and I was now expected to finish the 
upper story. I went to my work, proceeded to finish 
the church, and build the parsonage and prepare to 
move into it. At this juncture I was importuned to 
resign the charge and take the financial agency of 
Baker University, which was deeply indebted and li- 
able to be lost to the Church. The indebtedness 
amounted to $20,000, and the notes and bonds had 
matured, with no provision for their payment. On 
my way to Lawrence to take out a power of attorney 
to legally transact the college business I met the law- 
yer, Hon. J. K. Goodin, on his way to the bankrupt 
court, with the papers all perfected to throw the Uni- 
versity into bankruptcy. He developed his plans to 
me and knowing the legal status of the whole busi- 
ness from my long association with the university and 
educational society I turned a short but legal and just 


corner on Viim by telling him that if the creditors 
would but give us time I would pay every dollar ever 
received from them. If not, I would prove that their 
claim was groundless and worthless. I knew the 
mortgage had been given under mistaken views by 
men who had no authority to issue it, and I was pre- 
pared to establish the title vested in the educational 
board, the bonds and mortgages having been issued 
by an entirely different body of men. I knew the 
county records would show this to be the case. 

The result was that time was given, and though 
the state was new, our people poor, and churches and 
parsonages were to be built, yet we succeeded by vari- 
ous expedients in paying over $ii,ooo of indebtedness 
and raising what was considered by the trustees a 
valid subscription of over $13,000 during my agency 
of eighteen months. 

I then resigned and others took the agency. The sub- 
scription was not collected, for various reasons, and 
the residue of debt mostly remained unpaid until suit 
was brought, while Rev. J. M. Sullivan was agent. 
In the meantime I was in Montana, and received word 
that the case was in court and would come to trial 
soon with a prospect of the loss of the university, after 
all that had been done to save it. I immediately wrote 
Brother Sullivan informing him of the legal status of 
the bonded indebtedness. He was absent but his wife 
received my letter two days before the case came up 
and sent it by Dr. Read and Brother Walter to the 
court where, when it was received by Brother Sul- 
livan and the attorney for the university, it enabled 
them to save $5,000 and gain time to pay all the debt 
actually due, thus saving this great interest to the 
Methodist church. 

'Through difficulties to success," has been the 



motto of the university, and none rejoice more in the 
results than I do. Many sacrifices were made for this 
great interest both by ministers of Kansas and lay 
members of both sexes. May God bless them all. 





At the close of my agency I was stationed at Olathe, 
Johnson County. Our oldest son married April 15, 
1873; our second son was practicing his profession in 
Wichita, and my wife and two youngest sons removed 
from the farm to Olathe, where we were destined to 
experience the greatest sorrow of our eventful lives. 
The charge was a pleasant one, the people kind, and 
the society in a good condition. But rum had a 
strong-hold and infidelity and spiritualism were thor- 
oughly intrenched. With others, we engaged to break 
this triple alliance of evil. The struggle was a bitter 
one, but by a combined effort upon the part of all 
Christian churches in lyceum and pulpit the enemy 
was routed, horse, foot and dragoon. The infidel club 
was broken up, the spiritualists were put to flight by 
the electric light of gospel truth, and the rum power, 
though in city ordinances backed by the common 
council and mayor, was undone. We drew the mayor 
into public debate and, though seconded by Mr. 
Winans, a noted lawyer. Rev. Mr. Clark and myself 
met them in open discussion, and with the aid of the 
'Woman's Crusade" cleared the county of the saloon, 
never to return. This was really the beginning of 
prohibition in that part of the state. 

But the defeated ''rummies" had my wife arrested 
on complaint of a miserable old ex-saloon-keeper, and 


held under bond for six weeks. The ladies signed her 
bond and would not allow a man to sign with them. 
Several lawyers in the state volunteered their services 
to defend her. Hon. J. P. St. John, afterward gov- 
ernor, was her chief defender and the case was dis- 
missed, it being understood that it was designed 
merely as a ''blufif" to the temperance people, and 
especially to the Methodist preacher and his wife. But 
the triumph of right and truth was complete and the 
Lord and the people gained a great victory. 

I have said this was a time of great and sore trial. 
Our oldest son, John William, had remained on the 
farm where he had gone to escape the terrible results 
of nervous prostration on account of the Quantrell 
raid. Our second son, Charles Edmund, had gone 
into the practice of medicine and surgery in Wichita. 
Joseph, our third son, had spent most of the spring and 
summer on the farm, but in September, with several 
young companions, had entered Baker University, in- 
tending to fit himself for a useful life. He had been 
a Christian from his earliest childhood and never al- 
lowed an opportunity to pass without recording his 
testimony to the love of the Savior for a little boy. The 
boys on the farm worked hard and had line prospects, 
but lost heavily by the grasshopper plague. The doc- 
tor son was young but successful, though his work was 
among homesteaders, and as they lost all by the grass- 
hoppers he lost fifteen hundred dollars. My leading 
members were farmers, and when the grasshoppers 
struck Johnson county my salary dropped five hundred 
dollars in forty-eight hours. My farmer boy lost all 
his crop — not getting an ordinary wagon-box-full from 
one hundred and thirty acres of cultivated land. I 
had to stand the loss of at least $5,000 and back my 


sons in their enterprises, beside all the sacrifice I had 
made for the university. 

But these things were as nothing compared with the 
great sorrow that came to our home in the death of 
Joseph, our third son. He was nearly eighteen years 
of age, attending the university, full of hope and 
promise, but was stricken down of two days' sickness 
at home, in the full possession of all his faculties, and 
a clear consciousness of the divine favors. Among 
his last utterances were these: "I am trusting in God, 
mother. I am passing through the gates washed in 
Jesus' blood." And just as he ceased breathing, as 
he reclined upon his mother's breast, he said audibly: 
*'Lord Jesus receive my spirit," 

There appeared a bright and shining way, right 
from the chamber where he fell asleep into eternal life. 
We wept in bitter sorrow, sorely, sorely bereaved, yet 
rejoicing in that our dear boy was saved by faith in the 
Lord Jesus Christ. One of our little flock is safely at 
home in heaven. We all believed he was the best pre- 
pared to go, and resolved to follow in his footsteps. 
It was a terrible blow to us, but we were wonderfully 
sustained by grace and the hope of heaven. 

To add to the sorrows of that day, as if all before 
were not enough, misguided and jealous men began 
waging persecution and unjust, as well as unfounded 
complaints against me, growing out of my manage- 
ment of college affairs. When the case was set for 
trial at conference and their main witness was put upon 
the stand he broke down so utterly that they plead for 
the privilege of withdrawing all "charges, specifica- 
tions and accusations" against me. This my friends 
advised me to consent to and it was done. Then the 


conference unanimously passed the following endorse- 

''Whereas, Rev. H. D. Fisher, D. D., has been in 
connection with this conference about seventeen years, 
laboring with acceptability in all the various fields of 
labor assigned him, and 

"Whereas, The Bishop having transferred him to 
the Pittsburg conference by his own request, there- 
fore be it 

"Resolved, That we highly appreciate the labor and 
counsel of Brother Fisher while he has been with us, 
and should he at any subsequent period desire to re- 
turn, we will welcome him among us again." 

The members of a former charge, McKeesport, had 
petitioned my return on account of sympathy with us 
over the death of Joseph, who was born in that city, 
and because they had spent a pleasant and pros- 
perous term under my pastorate. This led to my 
transfer to Bishop Merrill and the above action. They 
kindly provided funds to meet my moving expenses 
from Kansas to McKeesport, and a committee from 
the society met me at Alliance, Ohio, where the Pitts- 
burg conference was in session. 

I left Manhattan on Monday morning, March 15, 
1874, at 9 o'clock to pack our goods. I met my wife 
at Nortonville, reached Alliance Friday night, and ap- 
peared in conference Saturday morning, where I was 
introduced and recognized as a member of the con- 
ference. But the committee and people of McKees- 
port and myself were doomed to disappointment. The 
conference was crowded. Some churches were de- 
manding special transfers, and there was a great fever 
in the "body ecclesiastic" over my return, lest my 
transfer should be an innovation on the established 
rules of a ring, which had relegated to the rear those 


who had been away doing heroic work for the Master 
in other fields, that they might serve a second pro- 

Even this would not have thwarted the people's 
wishes had it not been that Dr. O. H. Hartshorn, presi- 
dent of Mount Union college, had been wishing for a 
financial agent for the college. Dr. Samuel Wake- 
field, my former presiding elder, was chairman of the 
educational committee. They and Bishop Bowman, 
who knew of my successful agency in Kansas, united 
to influence me to become financial secretary of Mount 
Union College. Dr. Hartshorn's request prevailed 
with the cabinet and bishop, and I was appointed 
agent, the very thing I did not want. However, I ad- 
dressed myself with zeal to my new work. My rela- 
tions with the president, faculty, students and patrons 
were pleasant. They were uniformly courteous, but 
my experience with the debt on Baker University ren- 
dered it desirable to me to return to the pastorate. 

After some months in this relation to Mount Union 
College, by request of the Women's Home Missionary 
Society of Cincinnati, by Mrs. Clark, its president, I 
was transferred by the authority of Bishop Foster from 
the Pittsburg conference, and made superintendent of 
the Home Missionary Society of that city. Here I was 
associated with one of the most devoted bands of 
Christian women on this or any other continent. The 
field was broad and difficult, but white unto the har- 
vest. Laborers were few and untrained. The property 
of the mission was embarrassed by debt, and the Meth- 
odist people discouraged by reason of former failures 
in this most difficult work. But we were blessed with 
a good degree of revival, and a number of very clear 
conversions in the mission churches and at the city 


alms-houses. The work was so broad, diversified and 
pressing that I could not, even with the help at hand, 
accomplish all I found necessary to do. The Jesuitical 
and oppressive "Reagan Laws" had for several years 
previous kept protestant missionaries and preachers 
from successful visits to the inmates of the prison, 
alms-houses and infirmaries. Though they had been 
repealed, the missionaries of Cincinnati had not yet 
asserted their rights and privileges under the new 
law. Backed by my noble band of Christian workers, 
I presented myself at the various penal and charitable 
institutions and found hearty welcome. In the city 
work-house were three hundred men, and in the wards 
for women many a miserable female convict. These 
were of the lowest vagrant classes — ninety-five per 
cent incarcerated through the blight of rum. Here 
was a vast opportunity but for our poverty as a so- 
ciety, which precluded the work of reform after the 
expiration of the terms of imprisonment, for then those 
who gave good evidence of sincere desire for re- 
formation of life were doomed to go back to their 
homes and haunts of vice. 

Mission work from house to house among the poor 
demanded constant charity. We had large congrega- 
tions in the market houses and a great field for useful 
work in a part of the city called expressively, "Over 
the Rhine," or German Cincinnati. 

Strange to recount, the very activity and successes 
achieved kindled jealousies and antagonism among 
the local clergymen, with some very honorable ex- 
ceptions. Those approving afterward filled honorable 
offices in the church. One became missionary secre- 
tary another book agent at Cincinnati, another editor 
of the Western Christian Advocate, the last of the 
four becoming secretary of the Educational Society 


of the M. E. Church. The opposition resulted in a 
decrease of funds to support the mission work, but we 
went forward, still reaching results which were very 
satisfactory. I preached frequently in Findley market 
place to great companies of Germans who never went 
to church, who only attended here out of curiosity. I 
was aided by a Brother Miller, a German preacher, 
who usuallly re-preached my sermon in German, and 
we were constantly aided by Brother and Sister 
Thompson and my wife, who led the singing, a feature 
the Germans all loved to enjoy. 

In Raper chapel Brother Thompson had a large 
Sabbath school, composed entirely of German chil- 
dren. They at first were as wild as Texas cattle. Once 
in the midst of the lesson they were seized with a 
spirit of stampede, and out they went, pell-mell, over 
the tops of the pews, girls, boys and all alike, as a flock 
of sheep over a fence. But by the patient work of 
Brother and Sister Thompson and others an orderly 
Sabbath school was created which did much good. 

Among the adults we often found the infidelity of 
the continent most positively established. Mr. E. G., 
a German butcher, whom Mrs. Fisher and I visited to 
converse with about his spiritual welfare, said: "I don't 
beheve that I have any more soul than that brisket!" 
striking a large butcher knife into a quarter of beef 
lying on a block. Said he, ''When I die I want a big 
funeral, with two or three brass bands to play music 
over my grave, for that will be the end of me." 

At High Street we had a very good Sunday school, 
composed largely of what were called "Street Arabs." 
It was marvelous what active students they were, and 
how they improved. Many of them w^ere transformed 
into active temperance workers, making this a fruitful 
mission field. 


The closing night of 1875 and the morning of 1876, 
was a remarkable 'Svatch night" occasion. I aided in 
three watch night meetings and preached in as many 
different churches, first visiting Finley church, 
where I preached to a great audience at 8:30 P. M. I 
then went to Christie Chapel, where Rev. Runyon was 
pastor, and at 10 o'clock preached to a larger con- 
gregation than the first. From thence I went to Trin- 
ity, where Dr. Earl Cranston was pastor, and preached 
to the largest congregation of the night, closing my 
sermon just in time to join with the devout worshipers 
in singing the ''Covenant hymn," ushering in the New 
Year with prayer and praise. Thus ended the hun- 
dred years of American independence, and thus began 
the second century of our national history with us. 

Many of my Sabbaths were the occasions of from 
five to seven sermons a day, made possible by availing 
myself of rapid transit to reach distant points in the 
field. My wife, who was always a good Bible student, 
became a remarkably efficient Bible reader, and did 
effective work in holding meetings and explaining the 
Scriptures. Some most disgusting scenes were wit- 
nessed, caused by rum, but we had the opposite scenes 
to cheer us in our good work. Some of the happiest 
Christians we ever knew were aged people in the city 
hospitals and Home for the Friendless; souls who 
were chastened by adversity, whose only happiness 
comes from simple, hearty trust in the divine prom- 
ises, realizing that Godliness is profitable unto all 
things, and that Godliness with contentment is great 

At a meeting in one of the city hospitals two adults 
came forward in the midst of my sermon, uninvited, 
and knelt at the altar and were gloriously converted 
while I continued to preach. At Mears' chapel a Ger- 


man Catholic girl was converted while Mrs. Fisher 
was leading the meeting. 

In the fall of 1877 I was solicited to take charge of 
the First M. E. Church in Omaha, Nebraska. The 
society had been rent by dissensions so that a large 
number of the members and one-third of the Sabbath 
school had withdrawn to establish a rival church. The 
old charge had an unfinished building and a bonded 
debt, with an accumulated interest of forty-seven thou- 
sand dollars due. The bishops had advised the society 
to give up the property and disband. They were de- 
pressed and poor but promised, through the presiding 
elder. Rev. H. T. Davis, that if I would accept the 
pastoral charge they would give me a salary of fifteen 
hundred dollars. I was receiving from the Woman's 
Home Missionary Society $1,800 per annum, and the 
day I resigned to accept the Omaha charge, three elect 
ladies, Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Simpkins and Mrs. Whet- 
stone, all officers of the society, offered to add a hun- 
dred dollars apiece, making my salary $2,100, if I 
would remain superintendent of the mission work. 
But the distress at Omaha appealed with peculiar force 
and I resigned, and really lost in salary $800 the first 
year, going out ''not knowing whither I went." I 
had heard the call and believed it to be of God and 
responded to it. 




My removal was without incident of interest and my 
arrival a disappointment, in that the presiding elder, 
whom we expected would remain and by his presence, 
counsel and prayers be of great advantage to us, had 
summarily and unexpectedly removed to Lincoln. 
We were met at the depot by a committee of recep- 
tion who were looking for a sleek, kid-gloved, city 
preacher and overlooked me until I had taken a seat 
in the bus for the hotel. Brother W., one of the com- 
mittee, a lawyer, concluded that they had invited the 
wrong man. But when the Sabbath was over he re- 
lated the joke on himself and said: "We made no 
mistake; you will do." 

In a short time we succeeded in satisfying the credit- 
ors and liquidating the bonded debt by giving up 
all the church property. We sold out, ''pole, hook 
and line," preached a farewell sermon to the old 
church and the old trustees, moved out of the build- 
ing into a rented hall, and struck for liberty and a new 

With judicious changes and readjustment in the 
composition of the official board and board of trustees 
we secured more adaptability and efficiency of service. 
The only remaining church prowess that was left was a 
modicum of spirituality retained by a few members. 
There was a band of noble-spirited women who were 
ready for every good work, whose aid was invoked, 


utilized and became potent for good under the leader- 
ship of the pastor's wife in visiting the sick, the erring, 
the poor and the neglected. 

We popularized our service in the new hall, and 
with re-organized choir and unity restored began 
building from the foundation. We took steps to build 
a large, cheap, plain church for the masses. In taking 
a subscription a stranger arose and said if we would 
give him three months time he would give us twenty- 
five dollars. He did not know where it was to come 
from, as he had no employment; but, trusting in God, 
he would give that sum. We gladly received his sub- 
scription and commended him to the people. Two 
weeks afterward he came to the parsonage and said to 
me: ''Dr. Fisher, I believe I promised to give twenty- 
five dollars to the new church in three months. I have 
called to pay it. When I subscribed I did not have 
employment, nor did I have any idea where it was to 
come from. But I prayed God to open my way. I 
found paying employment, and this morning I went to 
the post office and found a letter from a man in In- 
diana, who had owed me seventy dollars for more than 
eleven years? I had given up all hope of getting a 
cent from him, for I had heard no word from him for 
five years. In his letter he said: Ten or fifteen days 
ago I felt I ought to pay you, and as I am now pros- 
perous and you have been so kind in waiting I here en- 
close a draft for the money I owe you with mterest 
added, all amounting to nearly $ioo.' God put it into 
his heart to pay me. I want to pay the twenty-five 
dollars I subscribed and here is twenty-five dollars 
more I want to give as a thank-oft'ering, and now I 
have nearly fifty dollars more than I ever expected 
from that source. I verily believe it all came because I 


trusted God to provide a way for me to pay my sub- 

He was happy in giving; so was I in receiving. 

Through great labor and sacrifice we purchased a 
lot on Davenport street, between Seventeenth and 
Eighteenth streets, built a church and parsonage and 
had a superior Sabbath school and congregation. And 
before my pastorate ended we built a beautiful sub- 
urban church, also. 

Engrossed as we were we yet found time to begin 
a crusade against the saloons, gambling hells and 
brothels, and with the aid of Col. Jameson and 
John B. Finch so aroused the city that the patronage 
of the saloons fell off to such an extent that the sa- 
loonists prayed the city council to refund a part of 
their licenses. 

During my residence in Omaha a terrible calamity 
happened,by which five men lost their lives. The 
Grand Central hotel, costing $150,000, burned down 
through the carelessness of a drunken carpenter who 
was repairing the cupalo. The fire marshal, Charlie 
Hofner, was a saloonkeeper. When the fire broke out, 
notwithstanding his responsibility, he left his post of 
duty and went to his saloon and carried whisky by the 
jug-full and gave it to the firemen. Mayor Wilber 
ordered the saloon closed, but as they were near the 
fire where thousands gathered Hofner and others de- 
fied the officials. The firemen became frenzied with 
whisky, smoke and excitement, and five of them went 
down with the burning building and lost their lives. 

There had been sent from our city a valuable young 
woman as a Christian nurse, to the yellow fever 
stricken south. She had died a martyr to her de- 
votion to the sick. This, with the great fire, and the 


loss of those five valuable lives, produced a profound 

I seized upon it as a fit season to preach upon the 
causes of the yellow fever in the south and the "Burn- 
ing of the Grand Central." Our doctor son was serv- 
ing as a volunteer physician in the epidemic at Chat- 
tanooga and we were deeply interested in the South's 
afifliction. I took bold ground, and charged the local 
disaster to the besotted condition of the community 
where a saloonkeeper could be entrusted with the 
marshalship of the fire department. "And," said I, "a 
city whose fire marshal was guilty of such conduct 
when such immense responsibility rested upon him, 
who would carry whisky to men who would drink 
while on duty with such a fire raging, could expect 
nothing less than the destruction of life and property 
and no man's life or property is safe under such a con- 
dition of affairs." 

This raised a cry of rage among the drinking class. 
The whole city was in a ferment. Some censured, 
others praised me. The city council removed Hofner 
and elected a Mr. Gallagher to his place, and the de- 
partment elected J. W. Nichols, one of my stewards, 
as president of the Consolidated Fire Companies and 
elected four others of my best young men to im- 
portant positions. 

A few weeks later the department, by unanimous 
vote, requested me to preach a sermon to them, which 
I most cheerfully did, the mayor, city council and 
almost the entire fire department being present in a 
vast audience. My text was the "Burning Bush" and 
its lessons. 

The reform was complete, the memory of which 
liveth after many years, even to the present day. Ban- 
quets given by the firemen had formerly been occa- 


sions of more or less debauch and drunkenness. But 
this was changed. Intoxicants were tabooed and 
coffee took their place. A beautiful steam fire engine 
was bought in Boston, and on its arrival at Omaha 
there was a great parade and banquet at Creighton's 
hall. Mr. Craig, Omaha's greatest brewer, sent a note 
offering to supply the firemen and their friends with 
all the beer they could use. Mr. Her, the great dis- 
tiller, did the same. Both offers were politely declined, 
on the grounds of public interests and because the 
ladies had proffered to furnish choice coffee instead. 
Mayor Wilber informed me that a banquet held in 
North Omaha by the department, which was attended 
by the city council, the first to discard rum, was the 
most enjoyable ever held by the boys, many of whom 
said they did not know a banquet could be made a 
success without liquor; but that this was the best one 
they had ever held. 

Here we had ample opportunity to discover the per- 
verted and erroneous views of some professors of 
Christianity as to the scope of the duties of the church. 

''Rescue the perishing, 
Care for the dying, 
Snatch them in pity 

From death and the grave." 

This is evidently a duty too long and too generally 
neglected by the church of Christ. For this He es- 
tabHshed His kingdom among men — that the lost 
might be found and sinners saved. A pecuHar case 
presented in Omaha as an illustration. 

A young man of fine musical ability, member of a 
popular club and of the Protestant Episcopal choir, 
the son of a local preacher in Iowa, though maintain- 


ing the appearance ©f respectability, had yet been lead- 
ing an abandoned life. He finally married a woman of 
like morals, took boarding with a very respectable 
family, who were charitable, and did all they could to 
help these young people to a better life. The sickness 
of their hostess, however, necessitated her removal to 
another state for medical treatment. Thus the couple 
were compelled to seek another boarding place. They 
were denied entertainment in homes and boarding 
houses where before marriage the young man, though 
known to be a debauchee, had been a welcome and 
popular visitor. It looked as if his effort to reform 
was doomed to failure, and that he and his wife would 
be driven to live and associate with the very class from 
whom they were seeking to escape. Appeals were 
made at the parsonage for the sheltering wing of 
Christian sympathy to cover them from the storm of 
persecution. After exhausting every expedient to find 
a home for them, without success, my wife resolved, 
rather than have them go back to associations which 
promised ruin, to take them to her own fireside. Some 
of the officials of the church said if we took that couple 
into the parsonage we might as well shut up the 
church, for the people would not approve it. 

To this my wife replied, *Tf the church has not re- 
ligion enough to countenance an effort to save sinners 
my husband will find a pulpit at the corner of a street 
and seek to save the children of Christian families." 

She took the couple in. The church was not closed 
for want of hearers — it was too small to accommodate 
the crowd. The Lord helped us. The couple re- 
mained several months, and then, by my wife's aid, set 
up housekeeping for themselves, living happily to- 
gether, saved from a life of shame. 


Our new church was dedicated by Mrs. Van Cott, 
who had many friends in Omaha. Subsequently we 
were visited by Bishops Andrews, Merrill and Gilbert 
Haven, who was an old-time friend. He, his son and 
daughter visited us as guests at the parsonage. All 
these bishops knew of the very embarrassing condi- 
tions under which Methodism had been laboring in 
Omaha for years previous, and when they witnessed 
the changed condition of the society their surprise was 

Bishop Haven said to the congregation, "It is mar- 
velous indeed!" and to me, ''Where did you get all 
this? We have kown of the state of things in Omaha 
for years before you came. Some said Methodism 
was dead there and ought to be buried. But when I 
learned you had gone to Omaha I told my friends 
'that means resurrection,' and so it did." The Bishop 
preached for us, and told the congregation that the 
bishops had regarded the case as practically hopeless 
and it was the man from Kansas who in the economy 
of grace had brought them resurrection. 

Bishop Merrill also preached for us on his way to 
Utah to hold their conference, and as they needed a 
man for Salt Lake City church and as my time in 
Omaha was up, he requested me to try the grip of my 
faith on that difficult field. 




My predecessor in the Utah work, Dr. McEl- 
downey, was a splendid preacher, but had failed, as 
had others, to get a hold on the influences that go to 
make up a successful church in the land of so-called 
''Saints,"especially lacking also a following among the 
ex-preachers, local and otherwise. The church, Sun- 
day school and day school were at very low ebb and 
were disbanding. 

Upon our arrival we were received in a most cor- 
dial manner with a public reception. The Sabbath 
school numbered twenty-six. The congregation had 
an average attendance of thirty-five. Prayer meet- 
ing, class meetings and day schools had been dis- 
banded and the scholars of the latter enrolled in the 
Presbyterian and Congregational schools. The re- 
suscitation of the day school, called Salt Lake Sem- 
inary, was vigorously opposed by the officers of the 
church, including the superintendent of the mission. 
A debt of over $1,500 was in court awaiting judgment 
and foreclosure. The school furniture was being sold 
to satisfy debts for janitorship and other expenses. 
The board of trustees w^ere out of harmony with Dr. 
McCabe, who had so nobly stood by that enterprise 
for years and who was carrying a large debt incurred 
in the same interest. 

The church cost $60,000 and was a beautiful one, but 
owing to the altitude (though the accoustic measure- 


merits were perfect) the echo was so great that it was 
very difficult to preach in it. Indeed, it was rendered 
almost useless. The Rev. C. C. Stratton, who built 
it could not preach in it at all. Dr. McCabe, Joseph 
Cook, Bishop Simpson and others who had tried to 
address vast audiences failed to be heard and appreci- 
ated because of the echo. My voice was strong and 
flexible, and as I had had early experience with the 
echo from a Virginia clifif opposite my boyhood home 
on the Ohio, with the skillful criticism of my wife 
I overcame the echo, so that I could soon be heard 
with ease. My congregations increased and ere long 
Sabbath school reached an average of ninety-nine for 
months in succession. 

To help along the cause my wife, who had been a suc- 
cessful teacher in earHer life in Ohio and Pennsyl- 
vania, took up a day school, commencing with eight 
little children, and without patronage or encourage- 
ment from the officers of the church or mission-help 
held on until she had an enrollment of fifty-two with 
a regular attendance of fifty. 

We found, however, that Bishop Merrill's fears were 
well-founded, that in church matters we would fail 
to command financial support sufficient to make 
needed repairs, and to warm the large auditorium in 
winter. We were literally driven by cold weather out 
of the beautiful auditorium into a rather uninviting 
basement lecture room, our congregation decreased, 
and this inaugurated defeat of our cherished plan. 

We held on, however, and adopted an "art loan'* 
by which to raise money to relieve the case in court. 
By this expedient and through Dr. McCabe's efficient 
help we were enabled to take the case out of court the 
day before judgment would have been rendered, thus 


saving the church from this disgrace and financial 
loss. Interested parties stood ready to buy and crowd 
a transfer of that beautiful and costly house of wor- 
ship from Methodism to themselves. 

We had good helpers in our Herculean task, but 
had to expend a great amount of toil to overcome in- 
fluences which should have been with us for good. 
The lack of a parsonage justified us in occupying the 
spacious parlors of the church as a home. This still 
left ample room for school purposes, as the lower story 
afforded several well-Hghted and large, well ar- 
ranged, recitation room. Living in the church 
parlors, in such close proximity to the con- 
venient school-rooms, my wife was enabled 
to give due attention to her domestic duties 
and church work, and in addition thereto or- 
ganized an evening school for Chinamen. Over sixty 
"Heathen Chinee" availed themseves of the oppor- 
tunity to learn to read. She had at one time a class 
in the Sabbath school of twenty-six Chinese boys. 
One of them, Lee Chung, was a Christian, and learned 
rapidly to sing and read the Bible. He bought an 
organ and afterwards taught the boys to sing. 

Joe Fong, Charlie Hop, Joe Waugh, Fong Wong, 
and Sam Sing were among the most devoted and dil- 
igent to learn. But the pronunciation of words 
bothered them. The "R" is "L" with them. Robin- 
Red-Breast is '1obin-led-blest." Joe Fong, in trying 
this over and over and over, said, "Oh, Mrs. Fishee, 
too muchee wordee." They showed great interest 
in learning Scripture verses, and in learning to sing 
such hymns as "Sowing in the morning," and "There 
is a fountain filled with blood." 

On the last visit I made to Salt Lake City I visited 


the Chinese boys' class which had been organized by 
Mrs. Fisher, and which, upon her leaving Utah, had 
been taken in charge by a Miss Wakefield and re- 
moved to the Congregational church. To my sur- 
prise I there found Lee Chung, who was now able to 
play the organ and teach music. He had a large 
placard with the notes of the tune and Chinese char- 
acters representing the hymn they were singing, and 
to my great delight he led and the Chinese 
boys sang melodiously in their native language. Then 
they sang in English, and this was their song: 
'There is a fountain filled with blood." 
It was a matter of regret to me that the work so 
nobly begun by Mrs. Fisher should have to be turned 
from our Methodist school into other hands, for it 
was full of promise. The day school of white children 
had been turned over to the Missionary Society, and 
Prof. Theopholis Hilton was sent out to take charge 
of it. The Woman^s Home Missionary Society, aided 
by local generosity, provided a home for the school, 
which has grown to be a considerable influence for 




Upon the earnest solicitation of Bishop Wiley I 
next became the superintendent of the American Bible 
Society's work for Utah, Idaho and Montana. My 
official board at Salt Lake gave me a six weeks' leave 
of absence, and I immediately repaired to Montana 
and organized the canvass of that vast region in Bible 
distribution. I was pastor of the Salt Lake Church 
and Bible superintendent at the same time. But soon 
after my return from Montana I was relieved of the 
pastorate to devote my entire time to the Bible work. 

My first visit to the great North was by cars to 
Beaver Head and Red Rock, thence in a barbarous ve- 
hicle called a ''jerkey" to Virginia City or Alder Gulch, 
where millions of gold had been found, thence to 
Bozeman, thence to Helena and Missoula and to Deer 
Lodge and Butte, holding public meetings and or- 
ganizing county Bible Societies. I had no hope of or- 
ganizing more than two, possibly three, auxiliaries 
in Utah, as there were but two centers of any con- 
siderable number of Gentiles and in these very few 

I re-organized in Salt Lake City and made a new 
organization in Ogden. I also arranged with Rev. 
George E. Jayne, our Methodist missionary in Provo, 
to hold a Bible meeting in his mission chapel. When 
I visited him he told me he had not enough members 
to fill the offices of a small society, and if a collection 


was called for we could not raise more than from 
seven to ten dollars, and his family would have to give 
the half of that. 

After full consultation I concluded to go to Spring- 
ville, six miles away, to interest Rev. Leonard, a 
Presbyterian missionary, and get some of his members 
to act as officers of the proposed organization and 
join in collections to help procure Bibles to supply 
the distribution in that county. I had made it a rule in 
all my extended travels to try never to be left by the 
cars; but when Brother Jayne and I arrived at the 
depot the train was moving away grandly, nearly a 
mile on its way to Springville. 

I said to Brother Jayne, "This is providential." To 
this he naively replied, 'T don't see much providence 
in being left." But I had already and immediately 
formed my plans. "Who is president of the Mormon 
Stake, and where does he live?" I asked. 

"Bishop Smoot; he lives in a large brick house on 
the second street North. 

I told him I was going up to see the president and 
try to get the privilege of speaking to the Mormons in 
the Tabernacle on the Sabbath, and of inviting them 
to the Bible meeting in his church. I wanted him to 
go with me, but he scouted such an idea as ridiculous, 
saying just a few Sabbaths before they had denounced 
all missionaries as devils and interlopers, not to be 
tolerated but to be shunned and avoided. 

Now it happened that this same Bishop Smoot was 
at one time, early in Kansas, a partner with Majors, 
Russell & Co., in an overland transportation company. 
Mr. Majors was a Presbyterian and secured Bibles to 
supply the many drivers of their numerous and im- 
mense trains so they could read at camping time and 
on Sabbath, as they made the tedious journey to Cali- 


fornia. Mr. Smoot, for convenience, located in Salt 
Lake City, went into partnership with Brigham Young 
in the distillery business, bringing grain from the in- 
terior of California to Salt Lake City, and selling the 
whisky they distilled to the emigrants, miners and 
Mormons. He joined the Mormon church, and Brig- 
ham endowed him with an installment of three wives 
with whom to begin housekeeping. He had acquired 
great wealth, influence and more wives. When I 
called upon him, upon my ringing the door-bell, 
"President Smoot" made his appearance at the door 
in half dress, for he was in the midst of his toilet. He 
very poHtely invited me into a spacious parlor, where 
three of his wives were helping him dress. One but- 
toned his collar, another adjusted his suspenders, while 
a third brought him a necktie and handed him his 
nicely polished shoes. 

Meantime I had been seated, when he asked me in 
a very polite manner if he could serve me in any way. 
I handed him my commission, remarking that I was 
superintendent of the American Bible Society's work. 
He immediately replied, ''I am glad you have come. 
Our people are greatly in need of Bibles. I know all 
about that society, and will gladly do all I can to aid 
you in your work. What can I do to help you?" 

I made known my wish, and he said he was getting 
ready to go to Salt Lake City for the Sabbath, but for 
me to go to Bishop Jones who would make all ar- 
rangements necessary. 

Those arrangements were soon perfected. I was 
invited to come to the Tabernacle at ten o'clock 
next morning, and assured that, notwithstanding 
there were to be two returned missionaries present to 
make their reports, I should have all the time I wished, 


as the Bishop would instruct them to make short re- 

When I returned and told Brother Jayne what the 
arrangement was he protested that they were insin- 
cere, and if I went to the Tabernacle would repudiate 
the arrangement and insult me publicly. I told him 
that I believed it the clearest indication of Providence 
that I had met for years. 

Sabbath morning came, a calm, clear, bright day. I 
went at the time appointed to the Tabernacle. The 
people were gathering in troops from near and afar. 
As I came to the gate I was met by Bishop West, who 
requested me to follow him, as Bishop Jones had 
directed him to meet me and accompany me to the 
vestry, there to meet the bishops and officers of the 
church. I was ushered into the vestry with no little 
ceremony. Here I met twenty dignitaries of the 
church, great, pompous, fat old polygamists except 
one. They eyed me closely and seemed to take my 
measure. I felt— well didn't know quite how to feel. 
I was never in such presence before, but I passed my 
commission around, took my seat, and scrutinized the 
crowd. I was in strange company, but I was there 
for a purpose, and under divine leading. 

The service opened with singing, followed with 
prayer and singing again. Bishop Jones, acting presi- 
dent of the Stake, presiding, announced that there were 
two returned missionaries present who would make 
short addresses and reports and come next Sabbath 
and finish their reports, as Rev. Dr. Fisher, superin- 
tendent of the American Bible Society, was present 
and would address the people at length, and he wished 
him to have all the time he desired as he wanted them 
all to have the great pleasure of hearing him. 


The missionaries gave a running account of .their 
travels, labors and persecutions, and dwelt especially 
on Joseph Smith's being a prophet and a martyr, and 
on polygamy as a divine institution and a chief element 
of religion, exhorting them all to go into polygamy 
and to live their religion. I won't attempt to describe 
my feelings as I sat in the pulpit and heard all this, 
and witnessed how the people drank in every word. I 
was indescribably disgusted. 

Finally I was introduced. The house was crowded. 
Every eye was fixed upon me. Every ear was intent 
to hear. Such a spectacle had never been witnessed 
by these people. A Methodist preacher occupying the 
pulpit of the Mormon Tabernacle in Provo! 

I commenced by stating to the audience that I had 
been introduced as the superintendent of the American 
Bible Society, and I supposed they wished to know 
what that society was and what it proposed to do. 
*Tt is non-sectarian and non-political. It is composed 
of representative men from all denominations. Chris- 
tian men and women and churches give of their money 
by thousands of dollars to print the Bible — not for the 
Presbyterians, Methodists or Baptists alone, but for 
everybody to read. It is printed in all languages, and 
many Bibles are printed with parallel columns, so 
that German parents can read it in their own language 
while their children can read the same truth from the 
same page in the English language. It is the Bible 
for North and for South, for East and for West, and 
for the whole wide world." 

I had remarkable liberty in speaking, and as I 
described how my mother, who was long since in 
heaven, taught me to read the Bible, the adults were 
carried back to home and mother and Bible, long be- 
fore they had learned of "]oq Smith" and the Book of 


Mormon, and they wept like children. Aged elders, 
who had been Mormons for years, told me they had 
never seen such heart-felt emotion in the Mormon 

I attended a number of their ward Sunday schools 
and addressed them on the necessity of the Bible in 
the Sunday school. As the hour drew near for the 
Bible meeting in the Methodist mission chapel 
Brother Jayne felt that there would be but few in at- 
tendance, and no Mormons, but I told him all the 
chairs from his house and study had better be brought 
in. He laughed at my confidence, but when the hour 
arrived the people arrived also and filled the house to 

Bishops, elders and people came. Two Mormon 
bishops made addresses. Rev. Jayne and myself also 
made addresses, and then organized a county Bible 
Society. We elected a Mormon, Bishop Haygood, 
president, and the Methodist Missionary correspond- 
ing secretary. We took a collection amounting to 
sixty dollars, and the next morning the president gave 
his check for forty dollars. We sent one hundred 
dollars to the Bible house at New York, and requested 
a donation of one hundred dollars worth of Bibles, 
which was granted, and soon we received two hundred 
dollars worth. 

When they came I was sent for and went to Provo, 
where we held a mass meeting in the Tabernacle. 
President Smoot presided. Rev. Mr. Smith, a Metho- 
dist preacher, offered prayer, and made a speech. 
Professor Measure, president of Brigham Young Col- 
lege, also made a speech and said: ''All the religion I 
ever had or ever knew I learned out of the Bible, long 
before I ever heard there was a Mormon church on 
earth." Rev. Jayne made an address from the same 


pulpit with President Smoot and so did I. It was a 
wonder to all the people that their bishops, who had 
recently from the same pulpit denounced all preach- 
ers as impostors, hypocrites and devils, should join 
with us in this work. The Bible was distributed broad- 
cast, and read by these crude people with great de- 

The proceedings of these meetings were written up 
by Brother Jayne and sent to the official papers of the 
church, and to gentile organs in the territory. As a 
result my way was open to every Mormon pulpit in 
the territory, even the great Salt Lake Tabernacle, 
where I addressed more than a thousand Mormon 
priests at once. 

My next meeting was held in Logan, in the Presby- 
terian Mission Church. Rev. Mr. Park was mission- 
ary. Bishop Preston was president of the "Stake." 
The temple for Cache Valley was in process of erec- 
tion. When I called upon the president to arrange 
for a meeting in his tabernacle he asked about my plan 
of organization. I told him I wished to address his 
people in the tabernacle, as I had done in the taber- 
nacle at Provo, and in the evening hold a union meet- 
ing in Mr. Park's mission church and organize a board 
of Presbyterians, Mormons and others. 

He replied that it looked very much as if I wanted 
to get them "mixed up." 

"Well," said I, "You Latter Day Saints are going 
to heaven, and as we Gentiles want to go there too 
I thought it would be well to get acquainted before- 

He laughed very heartily over the idea of gentiles 
getting to heaven, both he and his bishop thought well 


of the suggestion and arranged for a meeting next 

Brother Park, Hke Brother Jayne, was unbelieving, 
and reluctantly accompanied me to the tabernacle and, 
to his astonishment, was invited into the pulpit with 
me, where I had the unusual liberty of addressing the 
vast congregation. 

I then visited the Episcopal Sabbath school and all 
of the Mormon Sabbath schools, and in the evening 
held a Bible meeting, organizing a county Bible So- 
ciety, as at Provo. The board was composed of Pres- 
byterians, Mormons, Episcopalians, and one outsider. 
The work in Cache Valley was carried forward by Mr. 
Fredrickson, in a remarkably successful manner, until 
the whole valley was supplied with the Bible. 

Very soon after my visit to Logan I visited Ogden 
and held a great meeting in the tabernacle, presided 
over by Bishop Perrie, president of the Ogden Stake. 
The large, old-fashioned pulpit contained about a 
dozen of the dignitaries of the church. Here I had 
my usual liberty of speech. I was portraying the ex- 
cellencies and superiority of the Bible as the divine 
revelation, incomparable in its adaptation to the wants 
of men, and said: ''When Wycliff translated the Holy 
Bible into the English language and gave it to the 
common people it was as if he had lifted the roofs off 
their houses and let the sunlight of heaven in upon 
them. It had lifted them up into a higher civilization 
and given them the leadership in intelligence and lit- 
erature for the whole race of mankind. The queen had 
sent a beautiful copy of the Bible to a foreign prince, 
with this expressive and truthful message, through the 
minister: 'Tell your prince this is the cause of Eng- 
land's great prosperity.' And when Luther translated 


the Bible into the German language he liberated the 
German people from the Roman yoke, broke the tem- 
poral power of the pope, and not only made Germany 
free but raised her to a place in the front rank of the 
influential and educational nations; and that Bible will 
live and triumph while the world remains!" 

At the close of my address several of the bishops 
spoke in very approving terms of my discourse. Then, 
before we left the pulpit, President Perrie said, "Dr. 
Fisher, if you will allow me, I want to say I most 
heartily approve of all your statements about the ex- 
cellency of the Bible and what it has accomplished; but 
as you are going into Idaho and Montana I want to 
suggest that if there are Papists in your audiences they 
won't want your Bible if it uproots Romanism and 
destroys the temporal power of the pope." I thanked 
him for his suggestion of caution. 

Bishop Balentine, who was the county superin- 
tendent of the Mormon Sabbath schools, invited me 
to dine with him. Bishop Perrie urged me to go, 
saying, ''Balentine is a good liver; and, besides, he 
will take you to all the Sunday schools and you can 
address them after dinner." 

I consented, and on the way home the bishop took 
me by the arm and said very confidentially, ''I tell you, 
Dr. Perrie is sharp. He don't care a great deal about 
the Papists, but Til tell you what he thought; that if 
your Bible liberated England and Germany from the 
Roman CathoHc Church and from the power of the 
pope it will liberate the Mormons from Joe Smith and 
Brigham Young. That's what he was afraid of. Oh," 
said he, "Perrie is sharp." And he laughed as he 
added, "But you and your Bible got away with him." 

I was soon ushered into a large room, where we met 
some half dozen Mormon women who seemed pleased 


at my coming, and I was introduced to them in their 
given names (as is customary) — to Sisters Jane, Cath- 
arine, Mary, etc., etc. These proved to be the 
Bishop's wives. 

Dinner over we were seated in the large parlor, 
w^hen the bishop, addressing me, said: "Now, Doctor, 
I have a question to ask, and I wish you to answer it, 
will you?" 

I. replied that it might be a question that it would 
not be proper for me to answer. 

"Well," said he, "I want you to answer it. I want 
no dodging. It is about the way I am living." 

I replied that I did not know how he was living, and 
besides, it would be very impolite, after partaking of 
his hospitality, to in any wise criticise his way of living 
in his own house. 

"Oh," said he, in great glee, "you can't get ofif that 
v/ay, though you are a Yankee. I am one of those 
who are practicing polygamy." 

"Well," said I, "I won't answer you in the presence 
of these your wives, but if I should answer I would 
say, 'I think you are living in a rascally way!' " 

He clapped his hands and said, "You are a Yankee, 
sure enough. That will do," while the women chimed 
in and said: "We think you are right. Doctor. It is 
a rascally way, and none but Mormons and rascals live 
this way; we are ashamed and tired of it." 

The old bishop laughed and rejoined, "But it is the 
order of the church and I must obey." 

Soon the sleigh was announced and away we went, 
from ward to ward. As soon as we arrived all exer- 
cises in the Sunday schools ceased, and I was imme- 
diately introduced and addressed the schools, composed 
of old, middle aged and young. 

Thus we visited and I addressed seven different 


schools and societies. In the evening I also addressed 
a great company of young men and women in a large 
ward meeting house — a union meeting of the Young 
Peoples' Improvement Society. It was a day full of 
labor and interest. The old bishop rendered valuable 
service, by which I was enabled to make eight Bible 
discourses to as many different congregations. And 
on Monday night, by invitation, I delivered another 
address to a large audience. 

My next visit was to Brigham City. Here Lorenzo 
Snow, an apostle, brother of Erastus Snow, another 
apostle, was president of the Stake, and his son was 
first counselor. I stopped with Bishop E., who had 
five wives living in town — three in ^he house in which 
I stopped. The old wife he had brought from Eng- 
land. She was very rebellious and ''ruler of the ranch." 
To the wife living in the north end of the house the 
old wife would not speak. To the young wife up stairs 
she was kind and showed some favor; to the two in the 
other part of the town, who brought butter, eggs and 
produce she was also kind. They all took sacrament 
together at the hands of the Bishop, but the old wife 
would not eat at the table with him nor sit in the same 
room with him. She told me that she had procured a 
revolver and put it under her pillow and would kill 
him if he came into her room. I stopped with them 
several days but never knew of the bishop speaking 
to his old ''first wife." 

At my next visit I stopped with Bishop Z's family. 
He had four wives in a large stone house, and about 
thirty children. I boarded at the home of the youngest 
wife. Though the youngest she had nine children. 
The old bishop was at home while I was there, though 
he had other wives scattered around, some in and 


Others out of town. This youngest wife told me with 
he^rt-rending sobs and tears that Brigham Young and 
the apostles came up to Brigham City and collected 
all the girls from fourteen years upward who were not 
married and discoursed about the beauties and re- 
wards of polygamy, and finally told them it was the 
order of the church that they should marry the bish- 
ops and elders and raise up a generation of saints, and 
that all who were married at the next Christmas should 
be ''blood atoned." She said she was born in Utah, of 
Mormon parents and knew her fate, and only knew to 
obey; and, to save her soul, she had been compelled 
to go into this degrading kind of life. 

''Now," said she, "what can I do? Here am I, the 
mother of nine children. Where could I find a home? 
What am I to do? I have often thought of suicide, 
and were it not that I fear I should be lost I would 
have taken my life long ago. I would rather see every 
child I have dead and buried than that one of them 
should be compelled to lead such a life as I have lead." 

And then, while the hot tears dropped upon the face 
of her babe, she said, in accents of despair, "I suppose 
T will have to endure this hell upon earth until death 
comes to my rescue." 

Poor creature ! She was only one of thousands who 
are the victims of men's lusts, held in bondage in the 
the sacred name of religion. 

I organized here a county Bible society, and George 
Bretherton, a colporteur, supplied that part of the field 
with Bibles. 

On my return to Salt Lake City I visited John Tay- 
lor, president, Seer and Prophet of the church. He 
received me kindly, and as I gave him my commission 
he said. 


''I know where you have been and what you have 
been doing, and I most heartily approve your plans 
and work and your way of doing the work committed 
to your care among my people. I know that the Bible 
is the only book given of God to guide us in our duties 
in this life. 

And, picking up a well-worn copy of the Scriptures 
from his desk, he said, "This book has been my com- 
panion for years. I carried it all through Germany, 
France and England, and have found that the Ger- 
mans regard Luther as their great political advocate 
and leader as well as reformer, by reason of his trans- 
lation and distribution of the Bible among the com- 
mon people in their own language." 

He gave me a letter addressed to Agnus Cannon, 
brother of George Q. Cannon, who was president of 
the Salt Lake Stake, directing him to arrange that I 
should hold a county Bible meeting in the great taber- 
nacle in Salt Lake City. 

Accordingly, I soon held a meeting there, in which 
I met more than a thousand of the priesthood of the 
Mormon church, addressing them and completing an 
organization, the only organization effected in fifty 
years among the Mormon priesthood outside their own 
plan and control. 

I was, and am still the only gentile ever admitted to 
a purely Mormon priesthood meeting. 

At the close of this meeting President Cannon en- 
dorsed on Mr. Taylor's letter the following address: 

'To all the presidents of Stakes, Bishops, High 
Priests of the Order of Melchisedeck and of Aaron, 
and all Bishops and Elders and Priests of the church 
of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, greeting: 

"Whereas, John Taylor, president, Seer and Reve- 
lator, has given authorization to Dr. H. D. Fisher, 



bearer of these presents, to hold Bible meetings in the 
churches in Utah, 

'Therefore, It is ordered and directed that every 
facihty be afforded Dr. Fisher in the execution of his 
work, for the supplying of the people of said church 
with Holy Bibles." 

This address and proclamation was so like that of 
Darius, on account of the deHverance of Daniel, that 
1 felt truly that God was in this work. 

Soon after this I made a trip to Southern Utah.. Mr. 
Fredrickson and my son Frank accompanied us, as 
colporteurs, with a Bible wagon carrying supplies. A 
portion of the party consisted of Rev. E. Smith and 
wife, Miss Ida Bardwell, Miss Couch, Prof. Hilton and 
Rev. Mr. Court. These were missionaries and teach- 
ers. We traveled by wagon, holding meetings as we 

Arriving at St. George, the most Southern settle- 
ment in Utah, we stopped at the Presbyterian Mission 
home, where a brother of Rev. Court was in charge. 
Here is the first Mormon temple erected in Utah, *'a 
thing of great beauty," but, being gentiles, we were 
not permitted to desecrate it with unholy feet. We 
were permitted, however, to hold meetings both morn- 
ing and evening in a magnificent tabernacle. 

St. George is a perfect oasis in the desert, a town of 
over four thousand inhabitants, with soil and cHmate 
producing tropical fruits in abundance. Many of the 
older people are New Englanders, sent by Brigham 
Young to this extreme Southern corner of Utah to 
build a town and temple, both of which they accom- 
plished, many Mormons traveling hundreds of miles 
to pass through the endowment house in the temple. 

Bishop McCallister, formerly a Methodist, brought 
up in Philadelphia, by a pious mother, who was a 


member of the old Ebenezer Church, was president of 
St. George Stake. He welcomed us royally and wept 
freely as we carried him and his people in recollection 
back to childhood associations, mother, home and the 
Bible. He evidently still retained high regard for his 
early training and many of those grand sentiments in- 
stilled into his mind in childhood by his faithful, pious 
mother. I preached in the morning and my party 
were invited into the choir. 

In the evening we had a most remarkable meeting. 
Bishop McCallister presided. My party led the sing- 
ing. Prof. Hilton and I made Bible addresses, fol- 
lowed by the bishop, who eulogized the Bible in the 
strongest language, as God's Word and Will, superior 
to all other books in all the world. 

Then he proposed to the congregation that all who 
wished to express thanks to Dr. Fisher and his com- 
panions for their visit and services, and a request for 
their return when convenient, should hold up their 
right hands. A sea of hands went up. Then he called 
for their left hands. Up, up, they went, a forest of 
them; while the shimmering, glancing light of the 
great central chandelier shown down upon them, pre- 
senting a phantastic scene. Then he called again. ''All 
who want to thank Dr. Fisher heartily, keep hands up 
and rise to your feet!" The whole assembly with up- 
lifted hands arose to their feet, and stood as if thrilled 
with delight. 

'Thank God," we cried, while hearty "Amens!" 
went up, all over the house. Our party was fairly car- 
ried away with pleasure and the whole audience joined 
us in singing, "Praise God from whom all blessings 

I organized a Bible Society on Monday with Rev. 


Brother Court, corresponding secretary, and we left 
St. George for the scene of one of the most atrocious 
massacres on record — the Mountain meadows — where 
one hundred and seventeen innocent, inoffensive and 
defenceless emigrants, were slaughtered by the Mor- 
mons and their allies, the Mormon Indians, under the 
leadership of John D. Lee and by sanction of the High 
Council of the Mormon Church and Brigham Young. 
The journey was a hard day's drive, and about nine 
o'clock P. M. we reached Pinto, a small town about 
five miles from the meadows. Here we were to spend 
the night, and finding a boy guide made our way to 
the Bishop's ranch in the corner of the town. Seeing 
the Mormon church lighted, we inquired what was 
going on in the church, and were informed that they 
were having a dance in honor of the visit of a very old 
saint, who had come to see the church and his friends. 

My plans were immediately formed, and, leaving 
Brother Smith and others to care for the teams and 
prepare for the night's rest Prof. Hilton, Miss Bard- 
well and myself repaired to the church to capture the 
dance and convert it into a Bible meeting. It was after 
ten o'clock when we arrived. The seats were piled up 
in the yard, the fiddler was playing his best tune, and 
the bishop and people were dancing with great zeal. 
Dancing is great sport with the Mormons and a favor- 
ite means of grace. I sent the boy to ask the bishop 
out. He came to the door when I made myself and 
party known, as well as the object of our visit. We 
were invited inside, and the Bishop said to me: 

''When this set is done I will introduce you, and 
you can address the people concerning your plans for 
supplying tkem with Bibles." 

We went in. I had never seen a dance before. They 
were hopping around and ''swinging the circle," while 


the violin squeaked and squealed like mad. I had no 
knowledge of dance phrases, and had never before 
seen a "set"; but the dancers looked like a ''set," and 
they acted like a ''set." By and by the music ceased, 
and the "set," steaming hot, and covered with per- 
spiration, came to a standstill and vacantly gazed at 
the intruders. The Bishop had the company seated 
around by the walls, and introduced me and my mis- 

I made a Bible speech, to which the panting com- 
pany listened with attention. Then I introduced Prof. 
Hilton, who made a finished address, the best he de- 
livered on our trip. Afterwards I introduced Miss 
Bardwell as a fine singer and performer on the organ, 
saying if the> desired it, she would favor us with a 
song and some music. I asked them to vote their re- 
quest. Up went the right hand of every one and Miss 
Bardwell sang grandly, "The Musician and his Lyre." 

At half-past-eleven P. M., after capturing a Mormon 
dance and turning it into a Bible meeting, we retired 
in good order and the dance went on until the "wee 
hours of the morn." It was a remarkable achievement 
and grandly opened the way for our colporteurs, Fred- 
rickson and Frank Fisher. 

The next morning over we pushed on to the Mead- 
ows, a beautiful, sequestered and romantic spot. Here 
is the famous spring where the emigrants were getting 
water when attacked and when they first discovered 
their perilous condition. Yonder are the ridges cov- 
ered with low, scraggy cedar and burr-oak trees, 
furnishing ambush for the treacherous Mormons and 
the few Indians who joined the murderers for plunder. 
Here is the great "carne" or grave in which were de- 
posited by Conner's soldiers the scattered remains of 


the massacred men, women and children of the doomed 
party. Near by is a clump of bushes, gnarled and 
bullet-marked, behind which John D. Lee, in fiendish 
manner, shot with his own hand the young women 
whose rejection to become his concubines had in- 
censed him and nerved him for the bloody work, 
though his son-in-law begged for their lives. And 
now we stand on the identical spot where Lee met his 
just deserts, under sentence of Judge Bozeman, he 
having been here shot to death by United States sol- 
diers as he sat on his coffin. 

It is a solemn, lonely spot, just where as the men 
were filing out of camp as prisoners they were merci- 
lessly killed by Lee's orders in the presence of their 
wives and children, who likewise were afterward 
brutally shot down. The stone column built by Gen. 
Conner's order to mark the burial place of the dead 
had been destroyed by the Mormons, the rock hauled 
away and scattered, and we gathered up as much as 
we could of the stones and replaced them upon the 

Having fully explored the Meadows and visited the 
spring we turned our faces toward Cedar City. Here 
we visited the Mormon church in which the decision 
for the massacre was reached, after the deluded people 
had held a meeting for plan and consultation before 
going to the slaughter. We visited the "Tithing 
House," wdiere the clothing of the victims, reeking 
with their blood, was passed into the custody of the 
church authorities and from which they were dis- 
tributed to the participants of this bloody work, ac- 
cording to the part each played. We met here some 
one who had been active in this fearful and yet unre- 
quited drama. Here we met John Taylor and the 
Mormon apostles, on their annual visit to the stakes, 


and heard their lamentation about Joseph Smith and 
Brigham Young and their fate as martyrs, on account 
of spiritual wifery or polygamy. 

The journey was a surprise and revelation; the col- 
porteurs were enabled to supply the whole populace 
with Bibles, so that we had the field fully supplied be- 
fore the "Edmunds Bill" took efifect in the territory. 
It was most providential, for there never was before 
nor has there been since an opportunity to put God's 
word, without note or comment, into the hands of that 
deluded mass of people. 

"God is His own interpreter, and he shall make it 
plain, vindicating His own truth and word. It shall 
not return to Him void." 




Our work in Montana was entered upon im- 
mediately after returning from Southern Utah. 
My son Frank and Mr. Fredrickson were com- 
missioned and outfitted for the trip and work 
with two good horses, a well-arranged Bible- 
wagon, provisions, cooking utensils and an ample 
supply of Bibles. Traveling North they supplied 
the field as they went, as far as they could reach 
the ranches and settlements. I had ordered a number 
of cases of Bibles sent to the terminal of the Utah 
Northern Railroad at Dillon. When they reached 
Camas Valley I passed them, going to Dillon to pre- 
pare the field and in person supervise the supply of 
this vast territory. 

Arriving at Dillon I repaired to the depot to learn 
if the Bibles had reached that point. My life-long 
habit has been to reprove profanity, and I have met 
but with two instances of rudeness or rebuff. Here 
the teamsters from far and near, with the trainmen and 
depot hands, were swearing as only that class of men in 
the wild West can swear. In this case I thought that if 
I should reprove them they would probably but swear 
the more, so I retired to await the coming of my col- 
porteurs. Next day they arrived, and I obtained the 
privilege from Mr. Beebe, the depot master, to open 
our cases in the depot in order to fill up our depleted 


boxes in the wagon and condense the residue for ship- 
ment to different points, so that we might stock up on 
reaching those needy places. The men were still very 
profane. When we opened our boxes they drew near 
to see what we had. One fellow asked if we had any 
song books. Another inquired if we carried Bob In- 
gersoU's lectures. I replied that we were not allowed 
to carry anything but Bibles and Testaments. Another 
said he did not believe we could sell Bibles and Testa- 
ments in Montana; that if we had flasks of whiskey 
we could easily sell them all out. I replied that we 
believed the people would buy and read the Bible. 

In the meanwhile a young man had picked up a copy 
of a "Brevier" Bible, and was quietly turning the leaves, 
when I noticed his lip quiver and his eyes moisten, 
and with an effort to suppress his emotion, he said, in 
a trembling voice, *T declare, if that ain't the very kind 
of a book my mother taught me to read out of when I 
was a little boy." 

His words had a thrilling effect. We stayed there a 
day and a half and did not hear another oath. The 
thought of mother, home and Bible touched the hearts 
of those hardy, rough mountaineers, and turned away 
their profanity. I gave out a number of copies to the 
men before leaving. 

On returning some months later Mr. Beebe told me 
that he never knew such a change among men. In- 
stead of profanity and vulgarity, now when the men 
have leisure they read and talk about the Bible. I 
went unexpectedly to the depot, and there were three 
of the men sitting quietly reading God's Holy Word. 
One of them afterward ordered a beautiful copy and 
sent it over two hundred miles as a Christmas present 
to his father, saying, "It's the best book I ever read." 

Subsequently Dr. McMillen, district superintendent 


of the Presbyterian missionary work, included in my 
field of Bible labor, and I were together at McCannon, 
on the Oregon Short Line railway, awaiting a train to 
take us to Paris, Utah, in the interest of the missions 
and the Bible Society. After dinner, while sitting in 
the public room of the hotel, we were annoyed by the 
profanity of a party of men who were in the room. I 
called their attention to their language when one of 
the party attempted to provoke a laugh, to turn the 
point of my reproof. But I interrupted him. 

"Gentlemen," said I, "let me tell you my experience 
recently at Dillon." 

Then I related the foregoing Incident. As I did so 
every ear was attent to hear, and as I described the 
young man's quivering Hp, his moistened eye and sub- 
dued and trembling tone of voice a hush came over 
the company, like the awakening of conscience, and 
again at the thought of mother, home and Bible, eyes 
were suffused with tears. After a pause of but a brief 
moment one spoke up and said: 

"Well, it is wrong to swear, and I would not have 
my mother know I swore for anything in the world. 
It would break her heart. I won't swear any more." 
They all joined in admitting that it was wrong to 
swear. Dr. McMillen often referred to the incident 
with great commendation and pleasure. 

Our journey to Paris, and visit to the bishop, our 
Sabbath services, with our journey over the mountain 
range, a night In the Mormon camp, where they were 
sawing timber for the great temple at Logan, and my 
sermon to the Mormons in the mountain fastnesses, 
v/ere all of intensest interest but must not be detailed 
here. Pages would hardly suffice to describe them. 

Subsequently we reached the city of Butte, spend- 


ing a Sabbath in this great mining camp, supplying 
the families and holding public services in the 
churches. On Sabbath afternoon at four o'clock I 
preached at the corner of Main and Fifth streets, the 
principal business streets, to a large crowd of miners 
and citizens. Mr. Fredrickson, my son Frank, and a 
number of Christians sang and the men came out of 
the saloons, faro banks, and other gambling dens by 
the hundreds, and crowded up about the corner until 
fully seven hundred people gazed at the singers and 
the speaker. We sang "Come thou fount of every 
blessing," many in the audience joining in this old and 
everywhere familiar hymn. A short prayer was of- 
fered and then "Hold the fort, for I am coming, Jesus 
signals still!" was sung. 

At its closing line I glided very readily into an ex- 
planation of the origin of the patriotic song, then the 
parody by Mr. Bliss, and his sad and tragic end, and 
the hymn which was now so popular and its very ap- 
propriate use on this occasion, and announced my text, 
"A good name is rather to be chosen than great 

While I was preaching a drunken fellow came up 
near me and wanted to sing, insisting upon having my 
son^s book to sing out of. Several in the crowd called 
out, "Arrest that fellow. He is disturbing the 
preacher." A policeman was about to arrest him and 
lead him away when I turned and said to the crowd, 
"If nobody wants that man arrested worse than I he 
won't be arrested." The officer stopped and I laid my 
hand on the man and said to him, "Be quiet, they want 
you arrested, but I want you to listen to me." He 
straightened up and stood as still as a man could, 
quietly and orderly. 


From that moment the crowd were my friends. 
They listened with marked attention. In my discourse 
I referred to the value of the Bible as a safe rule of 
life and the source of prosperity, and related, as I had 
done to the Mormons, how, when Queen Victoria was 
young, a foreign prince sent his minister to inquire, 
"What was the cause of England's prosperity?" and 
how the queen in the presence of her lords gave the 
minister a beautiful copy of the Bible, saying, "Take 
this and give it to your prince, and tell him this is the 
cause of England's prosperity." 

Just here a true son of the Emerald Isle piped out, 
"Be jabers, she had bether been after sending pertaties 
to the starvin' Irish." 

This spontaneous sally of Irish wit caused an audi- 
ble smile to encircle the entire congregation. But in- 
stead of reproof or attempted reply I pressed right on 
to convince my auditors that a good name is rather 
to be chosen than great riches, the Bible bringing 
spiritual and temporal prosperity. The crowd remained 
until the strange and impressive service closed. 
Scores came forward, shook hands with us, and 
thanked us for the songs and sermon. Some said it 
was the first sermon they had heard for years. One 
man said to me, "It is seventeen years since I heard 
the gospel preached." 

Many other interesting Incidents occurred in our 
work. At Blackfoot, Idaho, one of the colporteurs 
called at a store in which were a number of men. 
Opening his grip he began to show his Bibles. 
The men said they had no money, but maybe the man 
for whom they were herding sheep would buy one, 
as he was the only one in the crowd that had money 


Mr. Fredrickson accosted him, whereupon the man 
replied, '*If you have a book that has anything in it 
about sheep, I'll buy it." Quick as a flash Fredrickson 
turned to the loth chapter of John and began reading: 
"I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep," Then 
turning to the first of the chapter and reading on, came 
to the 15th verse, when the crowd chimed in, ''Buy it, 
buy it. That's just the book we need!" 

The man took out his pocket book, paid the price 
and took the book, saying, "That's the book for me. 
I am going to read it after this." Before he left the 
company bought several other copies, and all of them 
were pleased that they had met the Bible man. 

In 1883 we arranged a visit for the supply of East- 
ern Montana. There were two routes of travel open 
for us from Salt Lake City, our base of operations; 
one via Beaver Canon, Dillon, Virginia City, Boze- 
man and across the Eastern Divide at Mullen's Pass 
into the Yellow Stone Valley, thence South up the 
Yellow Stone river to Yankee Jim's, the farthest end of 
the valley, toward the far-famed Yellow Stone, or 
National Park, very appropriately named "Wonder- 
land." Here we would have to double our track and 
retrace the usual trail or valley via Bozeman to Helena, 
thence to Fort Benton and Fort Assinaboine, on the 
Northwest Alissouri river, and back to Helena, thence 
by way of Deer Lodge, Butte, Dillon and Red Rock 
to Beaver Canon, thus reaching the line of travel 
eastward to the Park. The other route was via Beaver 
Canon, thence die east one hundred and ten miles 
through an unbroken wilderness to the Firehole basin, 
thence through the National Park and out at the 
North side of the Park to Yankee Jim's Dugway, join- 
ing the valley at the Westerly traversed road, crossing* 


the divide at Mullen's pass into the Gallatin Valley. 
This latter route we chose as giving us a shorter line 
of travel, the opportunity to visit the most noted gey- 
sers in the world, and as saving us from doubting our 
track, or retraveling the same road. 

This field, in long centuries gone by, has doubtless 
been the field of the most powerful and active vol- 
canoes on the whole globe. Here rivers of fire and 
volcanic lava, like molten iron, have been vomited 
forth until for hundreds of miles down the Snake River 
Valley the lava, in some places forty miles wide and 
fifty to one hundred feet deep, rolled in angry fiery 
waves, covering the whole valley through which the 
great Snake river runs. 

Our party consisted of Mrs. Fisher, Messrs. Fred- 
rickson and Foreman and myself, well outfitted with 
five horses, two wagons and complete camp equipage, 
and an ample supply of Bibles and provisions. We 
were out sixteen weeks and traveled over twenty-six 
hundred miles. When at Mammoth Hot Springs Dr. 
Foote, of Boston, and General Armstrong, of Carlisle, 
Pennsylvania, were with us at family prayer. 

We were preaching frequently and singing on the 
journey, and distributing Bibles everywhere, only 
sleeping three nights in a habitable house. At Boze- 
man I preached at eleven A. M. in the Presbyterian 
church and at seven P. M. in the I^I. E. church. At 
four P. M. I held a service on the street corner in the 
principal part of the town. Quite a number of persons 
had gathered, when a man in great haste, followed by 
three physicians, came running by and the crowd fol- 
lowed them. We soon learned that Charlie V., who 
had been gambling as keeper of a faro bank all night 
and until Sabbath morning, had lost all he owned, and 
in a fit of desperation had taken poison and was dying 


in a disreputable house, surrounded by fallen women 
and debauched and drunken men and gamblers. Pres- 
ently the crowd, greatly augmented in numbers, re- 
turned. We sang a hymn, and I preached a plain and 
searching sermon. We were surrounded on all sides 
by saloons and gambling houses, but the people 
listened with all possible attention. But to divert at- 
tention and defeat the impression made the managers 
of one saloon rushed around and organized some 
music. I closed my services in time to checkmate that, 
and the crowd was so indignant that instead of draw- 
ing the men to the saloon it repelled them, and the 
saloonkeepers felt the rebuke. 

At the close of the services a very pleasant looking 
young man from New York came to me and said, 
"When I left my home and mother I had a good name 
and recommendations from my Sunday school superin- 
tendent, pastor and business men. I came here an 
innocent and pu^e young man but drifted into the 
saloon, gambling hell and other disreputable places. 
I soon lost my position, my good name and conscious 
innocence and am ruined. What can I do to recover 
myself and former good standing? Oh, if I were only 
back with my mother again!" 

I advised him to go to his former employer, confess, 
ask his forgiveness and seek reinstatement that he 
might recover himself and raise enough money to re- 
turn to his home ?nd mother, and never stray from the 
path of virtue again. He promised he would do so 
and next day followed my advice with success. 

We completed our work here, and at an early day 
moved on to complete the work in other parts of our 
vast field and hasten South, as winter was approach- 
ing. We crossed the great mountain range between 
Montana and Idaho just three days before winter 


broke upon that vast, mountainous region, closing 
travel for six whole months, but not until we had 
furnished a vast territory with the blessed book of 

This was truly foundation work. The people and 
missionaries gladly received us, and I felt that while 
it was the most laborious it was yet the most im- 
portant work in my ministerial career. 




American Fork Canon is one of the celebrated can- 
ons of Central Utah. Here Rev. F. F. Day, a Pres- 
byterian minister, was resident missionary. We ar- 
ranged to hold Bible meetings in his mission church. 
The town contained about two thousand souls. All 
except about twenty were Mormons. I called upon 
Bishop Harrington, the ruling bishop, and several 
other leading Mormons and had but little trouble in 
interesting them in the work. After Bible addresses 
by myself, Rev. Day and some of the bishops, we pro- 
ceeded to organize a county society. 

Bishop McCary was elected president. Rev. Mr. 
Day corresponding secretary, and some one nomi- 
nated Mrs. Bishop Harrington (the ruling bishop's 
wife) as vice-president. I put the motion and she was 
unanimously elected. The secretary innocently in- 
quired the lady's first name. Then came the tug of 
war. The bishop had several wives. Some had voted 
for one; several others had voted for a different one, 
and others still for number two or three or another 
yet. Finally Bishop McCray suggested that they 
would give the old bishop away to the gentiles if they 
did not look out, and they had better agree that they 
had elected Sister Catharine Harrington, the fourth 
one. This cleared up the very laughable predicament 
of a too-much mariied bishop and of a promiscuous 
vote on a bishop's wife in Utah. 



The "San Pete" Valley is one of the natural divi- 
sions of Utah, a very fertile and populous part of the 
territory, almost wholly settled by Scandinavians. 
Canute Peterson (commonly called King Canute) was 
president of the Stake, including the entire valley. 
Bishop Mabin, his first counselor, lived and presided 
at Manti, near the south end of the valley. Here they 
have cut the point of a mountain, built three terrace 
walls, containing over twenty-eight thousand cords 
of heavy mason work and graded up to the site of a 
beautiful temple, which looks from a distance as 
though it had grown right out of the end of that moun- 

When I visited Ephraim, the resident town of Pres- 
ident Peterson, for the purpose of holding a Bible 
meeting it was late in the day of an autumn month. 
After an interview with the "king," he said: "You 
need give yourself no anxiety about a congregation; 
I will have all the people in the church by 7:30. I 
have my own method of calling them together. You 
be on time; we will meet you in the tabernacle if you 
are there." 

I repaired to the tabernacle about fifteen minutes 
before the time, and to my surprise and delight found 
the place packed full. I was the only person in the 
house not a Mormon. I occupied the pulpit with this 
petty king and his bishops, made my Bible speech, 
read the constitution, and called for a vote on its 
adoption. In doing this by uplifted hands I called for 
the negative to show their hands. The king cried out, 
"Stop; we never take the negative side, for those who 
do not favor our measures are not worth minding." 
So we adopted the constitution unanimously and 


elected our officers in the same manner, Mr. Peter- 
son making the nominations. 

One other incident, small in itself, but far-reaching 
and vast in importance, occurred in the South part of 
the territory in Frisco, where the Horn silver mines 
are yearly putting out mililons of silver bullion. Here 
Rev. Brother Hedges had organized a small class and 
Sabbath school. I visted the place to hold a Bible 
meeting, and preached morning and evening to good 
congregations, also addressing the Sabbath school. 
I was requested to hold a temperance meeting on 
Monday evening, and to organize a society for the boys 
and girls. 

When the hour of meeting came a large company 
of men and women, as well as young people, assem- 
bled in the school house to hear the temperance 
speech. At the close of my addressr I read a constitu- 
tion which I had prepared for the Boys' society, to- 
gether with the pledge, and invited those who wished 
to become members to come and enroll their names. 
Three boys about fifteen years old, one a saloonkeep- 
er's son, walked up amid applause from the audience 
and boldly signed their names. 

When they were seated the audience was startled 
by a tall, fine-looking man named Peter FrankHn 
coming forward to enroll his name as a member. He 
had been a Mormon, but in going through the en- 
dowment house had become disgusted and apostatized. 
He was quite intelligent and very successful in money- 
making, but had become addicted to dram-drinking 
and would often spend hundreds of dollars on a single 
spree. His signing the pledge led many others to fol- 
low his example. 


Next morning as he went to his work men said to 
him, "Pete, you can't keep that pledge." He re- 
plied, "You will see; I intend to stop right here and 
now." The men at the smelter wanted him to 
drink, but he dedined. Then some of them said if he 
would not join them in a glass of beer they would 
not work with him. To this he replied, "I don't have 
to drink with you, and you don't have to work with 
me unless you choose to. I am not going to drink 
rum as long as I live." He joined Brother Hedge's 
class the next Sabbath. In less than six weeks he 
was happily converted, and became quite active as a 
temperance and Christain worker. 

In the mining regions the rule generally prevails 
that all who work in the mines and smelters pay one 
dollar monthly to the hospital fund. This, in case of 
sickness, entitles them to admission, on certificate, to 
the hospital. It so happened that my friend Franklin 
became sick from the fumes of the smelter, and was 
compelled to enter the hospital at Salt Lake City, 
where he lived. After being under treatment for sev- 
eral weeks he became convalescent and so far re- 
covered that he was permitted to visit friends whom he 
had known in the Fatherland, before they or he had 
become Mormons. He told them of his changed Hfe 
and now happy experience as a Christian. Many of 
them wanted him to read the Bible and pray with 
them, which he did. Then they wanted him to meet 
them in some hall or public place and preach this bet- 
ter way to them. But he was only a probationer, with 
no authority to hold meetings; and besides, his mem- 
bership was at Frisco. So he came to me for advice. 
Being superintendent of the American Bible Society's 


work I authorized him to take copies of the Bible and 
jdistribute them, at the same time explaining the 
Scriptures to his friends. He became an excellent 
Bible reader and soon returned for more Bibles, say- 
ing the people were urging him to preach to them. 
I told him I would get the privilege for him to speak 
to the people in the lecture room of the M. E. Church 
and secured the use of one of the parlors of the church. 

His first audience consisted of about forty Scandi- 
navians, mostly old acquaintances. I was present, and 
told the people that as a Bible agent I had authorized 
Brother Franklin to explain and expound the gospel to 
them. Thus he opened his mission. His health was 
restored, he left the mining camp, and under the di- 
rection of the church began to preach and was finally 
licensed and recommended for probation in the trav- 
eling connection in the M. E. Church. 

Bishop Wiley took his recommendation from the 
mission to the Nebraska conference but forgot to 
present it. From there he went on to Beaver, Penn- 
sylvania, to hold the Pittsburg conference (my home 
conference) and there presented the recommendation 
and Franklin was received and elected to Deacon's or- 
ders under the rule for missionaries. Bishop Warren, 
returning from California, stopped in Salt Lake City 
for the purpose of ordaining Brother Peter Franklin 
and Brother Gillihan. 

The Bishop lectured on Saturday evening on "The 
Powers of a Sunbeam." This, with much service on 
the coast, and long travel, had worn on him, and, al- 
though I had just returned from a laborious trip in 
Montana he insisted that I should preach the eleven 
o'clock sermon, prior to Franklin's and Gillihan's 
ordination. What a strange coincident that he who 
was converted to a Christian life under my ministry. 


so strangely set to work under my authority, and so 
strangely received into my home conference, should 
be ordained after my unexpectedly preaching the 
sermon the bishop should have preached! 

Being a good scholar in his native tongue and a man 
of fine address Franklin was a very 'effective speaker. 
He visited San Pete Valley and created quite a stir 
among his Swedish and Danish acquaintances and 
countrymen who were Mormons. The day of his ar- 
rival among them to hold a Methodist meeting two of 
their principal bishops were carried out of the streets 
of Ephraim in a state of beastly intoxication. Frank- 
lin did not fail to make the best use of this event and 
delivered a powerful discourse on "Righteousness, 
Temperance and Judgment to Come." King Canute 
forbade his people to attend the meeting of this apos- 
tate heretic, but the more he opposed and interdicted 
their attendance the more the people pressed to hear 
the joyful tidings of salvation. Scores were converted 
and joined the Methodist church and subsequently 
built a mission chapel. 

My judgment from the first of my acquaintance in 
Utah was that mission work could be most effectively 
accomplished among the Scandinavians. So it was 
proven, and the conversion and call of Peter Franklin 
to the ministry proved to be the opening of this vast 
and promising department among the apostatizing 
Mormons. Franklin's efforts resulted in building the 
first Scandinavian church in Salt Lake City, the es- 
tablishment of a school for their children, from which 
the work is growing rapidly. Other brethren entered 
into the doors opened by Brother Franklin, when he 
had been called to wider fields of activity and useful- 
ness in Minnesota. 


I received much efficient help in the Bible work 
from all the missionaries and teachers in the field. 
They looked upon the putting of the Bible in the 
homes and hands of the people, backed by Bible ser- 
mons as ''foundation work" which must produce 
beneficial results, especially as the people had little else 
to read. I was very greatly aided in the complete sup- 
ply of Utah by an active, devoted and self-sacrificing 
company of colporteurs, whose Christian spirit and 
example contrasted beautifully with the sordid, secu- 
lar and sensual lives of the chief Mormons. So that 
the Bible and corresponding example made a sen- 
sible impression upon many who were in the thral- 
dom of the Mormon faith and teaching. The leaven 
was put in the meal, and has been working gloriously. 

If the introduction of my work was, as I believe, 
providential, and if we were divinely aided and di- 
rected in it, then the fact of our having so completely 
and thoroughly canvassed and supplied the entire ter- 
ritory before the Edmunds Bill passed is no less prov- 
idential, significant and gratifying. For, be it remem- 
bered, that this work was completed by the time this 
bill became a law, and such was the attitude of the 
Mormons all over Utah toward the law and toward all 
churches and all Gentiles that every pulpit was 
closed against us, and every neighborhood barred 
against our colporteurs because they were Gentiles. 
But the work had been done and so thoroughly done 
that the board of managers of the American Bible 
Society have not thought it necessary to put workers 
in the field since we closed the canvass. To me it was 
among the most satisfactory fields of ministerial 
labor ever occupied. 




It was in 1882 that I, as superintendent of the Amer- 
ican Bible Society work in Utah, Idaho and Mon- 
tana, planned the trip of supply to which I have al- 
ready called attention, from Salt Lake through Idaho 
and into Eastern Montana. The route which we pro- 
posed to take followed the Utah and Northern rail- 
road line to Beaver Canon, thence through an un- 
broken wilderness one hundred and ten miles to the 
Fire Hole Basin. This would give us an opportunity 
to thoroughly see Yellowstone Park, as we passed 
through it from west to east, and from south to 
north. Thence we expected to go to the great Yel- 
lowstone River Valley, cross the ridge or great Di- 
vide at Livingstone, come into the Gallatin Valley, 
and travel north to the British line, near Forts Ben- 
ton and Assinaboine. 

Having thoroughly outfitted with an exception- 
ally complete supply of camp necessities, my wife and 
I set out in company with two colporteurs on a jour- 
ney of twenty-six hundred miles. We took with us two 
wagons and five head of horses, and carried a large 
supply of Bibles. From the day we left until the jour- 
ney was ended we slept but three nights in a habitable 

After we were once under way we staid not nor 

stopped until we reached Beaver Canon, from which 
point, after a brief respite, we plunged into the wil- 
derness. The trail we followed was an unfrequented 


one, and boasted in the way of roadside habitations 
but a single hut on the river bank, constituting a sort 
of rendezvous for lost travelers and explorers. 

At Little Snake River we partook of cheer with one 
Mr. Ray, who for fourteen years had maintained in 
that lonely spot a fishing and hunting camp. A lit- 
tle later we were in camp at Goose Lake, then, pass- 
ing Henry's Lake, we camped again near Riverside, 
and at last we pitched our tents on the very rim of the 
Fire Hole Basin. We did not reach this last point of 
vantage without diligent labor, having had to double- 
team and climb a mountain of obsidian glass and vol- 
canic output, almost four miles long from bottom to 

When we had crossed the River of the Basin we 
came into full view of the Fire Hole itself. Almost we 
seemed precipitated into the heart of some vast man- 
ufacturing center with belching smoke-stacks, so 
numerous were the columns of steam rising in front 
of us. Ugly-mouthed craters yawned at us, tall, gey- 
ser-throats reared before us, wraith-like pillars of 
white steam towered above us. It was a burning, 
hissing magnificence. 

We hastened down the ashy rim until we reached 
a point on the Fire Hole River — of water almost scald- 
ing hot, fresh from the geysers — within forty rods of 
the head waters of the Madison, one of the three trib- 
utaries combining to give impetus to that greatest of 
all rivers — the Mississippi. A little further, and we 
have entered the Park, "Wonderland," where are 
massed the most beautiful natural effects encom- 
passed in any one spot upon the face of the earth. 

In 1882 the Park was almost geographically square, 
containing one hundred square miles — sections taken 
ofif Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, and by congres- 


sional enactment, introduced by a Kansan, Senator 
Samuel C. Pomeroy, forever set apart as our National 

About midway from where we had entered the basin 
and the upper end of the Fire Hole we again crossed 
the river and climbed a very precipitous elevation, 
composed almost wholly of the output of the "Sheri- 
dan Geyser," and so reached a small plateau, euphoni- 
ously called the Devil's Half-Acre. 

Up here we made our first visit at close range to a 
hot spring or boiling lake. The surface area of the 
one we examined first was about one-eighth of an 
acre. Above water as clear as crystal floated and 
gleamed in the dancing sunlight a beautiful cloud of 
pink vapor. The walls of the lake were curiously 
inwrought and of variegated color. Dense volumes 
of steam were continually rising from the surface, 
yet when these would break and clear away momen- 
tarily we could see into immense depths through the 
crystalline waters beneath. One strikingly beautiful 
feature of the scene were the finely finished formations 
on walls and shores, worn smooth as glass by the play 
of the waters, some as small as the pearls of a lady's 
necklace, others as large as oranges, and even as large 
as large melons, and all rich in colored light. Some 
were yellow, some were emerald green, some were as 
pink as the inner sides of shells, some as blue as a 
summer sky. And as they caught the sun's rays and 
held back those colors they saw fit to, and sent out 
others with many a refractory glint, the prismatic play 
was marvelously enchanting. 

Taking up positions at various angles and looking 
down into the unfathomable depths, we could see into 
fair and graceful formations below the water, and felt 
that we were in eerie proximity to the water-nymphs 


and sub-marine fairies. A fairy sun was there, and by 
his side, in modest companionship, the moon sat in 
benign splendor. Stars specked the water and shone 
through the intensely clear liquid as from the other 
side of the world. 

We had up to this moment been so wholly ab- 
sorbed with the hot spring that we were oblivious 
to the nearness to us of the Sheridan geyser. When 
our attention had centered upon it we found it to be 
a gaping crater, thirty or forty feet, with irregular and 
broken sides, holding a disturbed body of water some 
fifteen feet below the surface of the plateau upon which 
we stood. 

The water was in great agitation and our awe and 
wonderment changed to terror when the angry, hiss- 
ing, seething volume rose suddenly as if it would 
overwhelm us. We fled, like Lot's wife, to a place 
of surer safety, while the whole column of water was 
lifted with a deafening roar high into the air. De- 
tonations as of terrific cannonading accompanied the 
agitation, while the hiss and rush and roar of the gey- 
ser continued and the column of angry water rose 
ever higher, until it had reached the altidude of full an 
hundred and sixty feet. From it, poised in mid-air, 
floated of¥ bubbles as large as barrels, shot through 
with the sunlight and showing every color of the rain- 
bow, bursting as they floated further and sending back 
a shower of hot water. My wife's heroism paled be- 
fore the sublime manifestation, the colporteurs were 
terrified, and I was overwhelmed with a sense of the 
divine omnipotence. I wept and shouted and laughed, 
thrilled with wonder and amazement. 

Part of the great towering column of water fell back 
into the crater, and part rushed like another Niagara 
over the sides of the plateau into Fire Hole River. 


The agitation kept up for fully fifteen minutes. When 
it had subsided we cautiously wended our way out of 
the field by way of the wagon tracks we discovered. 
The whole crest of the plateau was blistered with little 
geysers and openings out of which steam was issuing. 
It was in a state of some trepidation from this latest 
experience that we continued our way up the valley 
to the upper end of the field of wonders. 

As we sat in our wagons awaiting directions from 
our guide, to our great delight we were greeted with a 
display of the powers and beauty of ''Old Faithful." 
This magnificent geyser has well earned her name, 
for every sixty-five minutes, day in and night out, from 
year to year, so far as known, ''Old Faithful" makes 
her report "All's Well" and emphasizes it with her 
incomparable display. She stands like a sentinel on 
an elevation on the west side of the river. She never 
asks for a vacation, and her waters gush forth as beau- 
tifully today as they have in all these years. Her 
crater is built up of a product siliceous and Hmey in 
character, corrugated and wondrously carved and in- 
wrought by flowing of the water. Her throat is oval in 
shape and is four by six feet in diameter. Her posi- 
tion is on an irregular plateau thirty feet above the 
river drainage. The volume of dense hot water rises 
by the exploding force of the pent-up gas and steam 
to an altitude of one hundred and sixty feet, and sways 
back and forth like a sapling pine. The sparkling 
cokimn showers back myriads of drops and bubbles, 
bright and glistening in the sunshine, like a multi- 
colored sky rocket. Rising by impulsion the column 
pushes away, jet after jet, higher and higher, and car- 
nes heavenward with it the astonished game. 


We made our way to a little plateau near by and 
parking our wagons pitched tent in the midst of one 
of the most active groups of geysers in the field. 
Scarcely had we adjusted ourselves to our new sur- 
roundings when we heard the thrilling shout of the 

*The Bee Hive! The Bee Hive! The Bee Hive is 
going to show up!" 

The Bee Hive is a universal favorite and comes 
in for a great meed of praise for its beauty where all 
is beautiful. The crater stands five feet or more above 
the plateau, is eight or nine feet at the base and six feet 
at the top, with a throat large enough to admit of the 
passage of an ordinary barrel. The opening is oblong 
in shape, beautifully finished and as smooth as porce- 
lain. There is connected with this geyser an under- 
groud vent leading to a very small indicator, or gey- 
ser, some twenty feet away, out of which a volume 
of steam issues for fifteen minutes before the Bee Hive 
begins to play, this signal serving as a steam whistle 
to notify visitors that the entertainment is about to 
begin. The valley is immediately alive with excite- 
ment. Citizens from all the vicinity, soldiers from the 
military posts who were en route to meet General 
Phil. Sheridan, and tourists from all countries, came 
rushing to the scene. A great company stood in 
breathless expectancy. 

The indicator ceased. The steam and gas from the 
crater began to rise. Then the volume of water rushed 
up and up, as straight as a telegraph pole and as com- 
pact as the stream from the nozzle of a fire engine. 
As dense as the body of a great pine tree the column 
rose to the height of one hundred feet and then spread 
out in a beautiful waving spray. So dense is the col- 
umn of water, gas and steam that, standing close to 


the crater, I put out my hand until I almost touched 
the ascending column. Then seized by a wayward im- 
pulse I took off my hat and tossed it in. As quick as 
a flash, to the amusement of the company, up went 
the hat more than a hundred feet, whirling and swirl- 
ing with the steam and gas, cutting fantastic freaks. 

During the demonstration on the part of the Bee 
Hive we were also treated to an amusing incident as 
one of the exigencies of the treacherous ground on 
which we stood and sat. A soldier was sitting on the 
ground narrating war stories to a crowd of interested 
companions when he suddenly shot up in the air, 
slapped himself vigorously on the place he had been 
sitting upon and cried vociferously, "A geyser! A gey- 
ser!" So it was, too. He had been sitting on a small 
crater, which had surprised him by a hot attack from 
the rear. 

The beauty and grandeur of this most chaste of all 
geysers was kept up for fully twenty minutes; and 
scarcely had the excitement died away attendant upon 
the Bee Hive's demonstration before another shout 
was raised— 'The Splendid!" 

We rushed over logs and stumps and rough places 
for about an eighth of a mile to witness the display of a 
triple stream thrown out of a geyser with a large 
throat but with a larynx so formed as to divide the 
water into three streams. Strangest of all is the inter- 
mittent impulse upon which this geyser plays. After 
an exhibition of five minutes it takes a five minutes' 
rest, then plays again for five minutes, then rests again, 
and then comes the final effort of activity. One stream, 
two feet in diameter, rises one hundred and sixty feet 
in a perpendicular line, one spurts out in a northerly 
direction and the third and last cutting away to the 


southwest. The efifect is best suggested in the name 
given the geyser. I went down into this seething 
crater and secured a remarkably fine specimen. 

Most phenomenal of all geysers, and, as her name 
indicates, most powerful, is the ''Giantess." At the 
summit of the plateau lies what to the seeming is a 
lake placid as a summer morning, smooth as a mirror. 
Out toward shore line is a formation much like ex- 
tending ice. The depths are bottomless. Only once 
in a long while does the "Giantess" arouse to a deter- 
mination to show the other geysers what a geyser can 
really do. Her domain is undisputed, her prestige 
unchallenged. The crater, of a diameter of twenty feet, 
is so near the level of the top of the field that she is not 
suspected of being a "spouter" at all; but when in ac- 
tion this great body of water is lifted soHdly into the 
air for an hundred feet, when by internal propulsion 
it divides into five distinct columns, each of which rises 
nearly another hundred feet Hke fluted columns. These 
columns then begin to spread out like elm trees, until 
having reached the altitude of nearly two hundred and 
sixty feet the descent begins. Then it is as if the win- 
dows of heaven were opened. The torrent rushes 
madly down the sides of the plateau into Fire Hole 

It is useless to attempt a detailed description of d.V 
the multiform attractions formed by the physical 
agencies at work in the heart of the earth in "Wonder- 
land." They are too numerous and too marvelous for 
anything more than the typification of all by the illus- 
trations given above, and the mere mention of a few 
of the other most prominent ones to which attention 
has not yet been given. 


Among these "The Castle" is well named. It is a 
chimney shaped crater, some eight by ten feet, irregu- 
lar, terrace-formed, while all around are curiously- 
carved basins full of crystalline water. Some of these 
little pools contain a pint of water, some a gallon, some 
of the water is orange, some of it is green, some sul- 
phurous. The intervening partitions are wonderfully 
molded. The base of the crater is covered with a 
convoluted formation resembling cauliflower. One 
particular specimen in my cabinet might easily be 
taken by an anatomist for the cerebellum of a child of 
ten. When the Castle is on the verge of an exhibition 
the earth trembles for acres around, internal intona- 
tions and thunderings are heard, as if a battle had been 
drawn and thundering parks of artillery were engaged. 
There is a heaving, a hissing, a trembling, as when 
the engineer throws the throttle wide. The water is 
greatly troubled and rises and splashes and dashes like 
a caged lioness seeking escape. 

The ''Giant" further down the field is a guard on 
duty. It's crater resembles a large sycamore tree 
broken off ten or fifteen feet from the root. In the 
northwest side of this geyser there is a large rent and 
a heavy piece has been thrown off by some mighty 
shock or struggle within. 

Not far from the Giant stands the Grotto and below 
in the same field is the Riverside and Falls. 

Crossing the Divide we came to a lake of fire and 
brimstone. In close proximity is the Devil's Outlook, 
and not far away is the most inexplicable demonstra- 
tion in the entire field — an opening in the side of a 
mountain, where a mud-geyser is in perpetual action, 
a veritable bit out of Dante's Inferno. Dark and 
smoky, there issue from it horrid, rumbling noises as 


of fire, and a cry as of some soul tormented. The 
smell of brimstone mingles with the stench of the de- 
bris — the base of all the extracts of cologne — into one 
foul malodorous odor. The murky mud gooled up 
toward us as if to overwhelm us, then receded in black 
sullenness, while we stood terrified before it. 

Further on we found Yellowstone Lake, the source 
of Yellowstone River. Down the river are the Upper 
Falls with a descent of more than eighty feet. A mile 
or more below are the Great Falls, having a plunge of 
three hundred and sixty feet. It is here that the 
Yellowstone Canon begins, the most wonderful of all 
on the east side of the Rocky range. From Point 
Lookout we stand and gaze over the falls and as we 
gaze on yonder rocky summit is an eagle teaching her 
young to fly. Opposite us rise castellated precipices 
thousands of feet high. Cathedral upon cathedral, 
tower upon tower, rise in one grand amalga- 
mating mass. We are charmed and chained by the 
awfulness of the wonders of nature. Out of the north 
flames before us a mountain of sulphur on fire. The 
very wagon road we travel is of glass, "obsidian." The 
forests we pass through are full of petrified trees, and 
the fields are haunted by hobos and goblins, hideous 
stone-forms, caused by the action of the water, frost 
and erosion of the wind, and so terribly fantastic that 
no Indian will go that way. 

We pass, further on, ''Young America," the "Minute 
Man," who, though a little geyser, spouts every min- 
ute. At almost the north limit of the park we come 
upon one of its chiefest grandeurs, the Mammoth Hot 
Springs, the wonder of all the tourists, vast and varied 
in formation and indescribably beautiful. Then comes 
Liberty Gap at the finish, and all reluctantly we bid 
Wonderland adieu. 





After two years of very arduous though successful 
work in the mountains I decided to return to the Kan- 
sas Conference and again engage in work on Kansas 
soil. It had so long been my field of labor and my life 
and history had been so intimately interwoven with 
her woof and warp that I longed for re-establishment 
in my home conference. 

Again, the Bible work in the mountains entailed 
a great deal of physical hardship and I found it was 
beginning to tell upon me in most trying manner. The 
''jerkies," or mountain stages, were far from com- 
fortable vehicles in which to ride over mountain roads, 
and not infrequently after a long and rough ride I 
would sufifer excruciatingly with headache and spinal 
irritation, until life would be almost unbearable. This 
condition was aggravated by a misfortune which be- 
fel me which came near being serious. While suffer- 
ing violent pain at one time by mistake I took a dose 
of tincture of Aconite, and but for the timely discovery 
of the error would have been sacrificed to the poison, 
the dose having been amply sufBcient to have de- 
stroyed life. This poisoning increased the sensitive- 
ness of my brain and spine, absolutely necessitating 
discontinuance of the mountain "jerky" method of 
jerky travel. My health was so rudely shocked by 
this laborious work that I was compelled to visit my 
doctor-son in Texas for treatment, and upon his ad- 


vice determined at the earliest moment to retire from 
the mountain field and take up lighter labor. With 
this determination I purchased an interest in the Kan- 
sas Methodist and became its editor, at Topeka. In 
connection with my editorial labor I embarked in the 
church book and publishing business, in which com- 
bined enterprises I continued for some time. This 
work did not prove satisfying to my energies and ambi- 
tions, and after fairly starting both enterprises toward 
success I disposed of them to Rev. J. N. See, who for 
a long time continued the issuance of the Methodist. 
During my editorship I was not idle ministerially. I 
was repeatedly called upon to dedicate new churches 
and lift church debts, in every instance in which my 
services were sought succeeding in accomplishing the 
work in hand. In several instances I succeeded in 
raising far beyond the amount needed, winning the 
gratitude of the people and assisting in furthering the 
cause of the church and her substantial and spiritual 
interests in this manner. This particular function has 
been one in which the most gratifying success has at- 
tended my efforts all through my church life. A list 
of my dedications and debt raisings would prove an 
interesting record, could I but get it together at this 
time. Perhaps in the future I may do so. 

Among the churches dedicated by me, one in par- 
ticular had a most pecular history covering its origin, 
completion and dedication. It is located on an Indian 
Reserve strip, seven miles South of Eureka. Two or 
three families came all the way from Northwestern 
Iowa with wagons drawn by very poor spans of 
horses and correspondingly poor harness. With the 
men, the women and children walked most of the way. 


The teams had all they could do in their skeletonness 
to draw the wagons containing the household goods, 
bedding and clothing of the movers. These families 
took up homesteads on the ''Diminished Reservation," 
which had just been opened for settlement, and built 
a small temporary house from stones which cropped 
from the surface of the prairie ridge running through 
their homestead, the stones being laid in mud instead 
of mortar. In these houses they concluded to live 
until Ihey could build a church and school. 

Before long the time came for this much desired 
work to begin. Sister B. agreed to board the work- 
men, as her subscription. She had two small rooms in 
which were quartered the masons and their helpers 
while they were engaged in quarrying the rock and 
laying the foundation. Then came the carpenters, and 
these were taken in until the walls and roof of the 
church were ready for the plasterers. Meanwhile her 
husband soHcited help and collected money, material 
and labor, and superintended in a general way the 
erection of the building. Then came the men to do 
the plastering, painting and glazing, and they, too, 
were boarded. 

At last after a long and hard struggle the desire of 
these self-sacrificing Christian men and women was re- 
alized. On a prominent site in that primitive country 
stood completed a well proportioned nud neatly fin- 
ished church, which will accommodate two hundred 
and fifty people, erected at a cost of nearly one thou- 
sand nine hundred dollars. 

The day of dedication was at hand. I was called 
upon to preach and raise the amount needed to pay all 
the indebtednesses on the church. When I reached 
the neighborhood I was quartered with this Christian 


family, as they only of all the neighbors were prepared 
to entertain the preacher and visitors. Sister B. had 
baked a barrel full of loaves of bread, roasted two or 
three good-sized turkeys, boiled and baked half a hog, 
and had cooked nearly a quarter of a medium-sized 
beef. She was amply provided with table comforts for 
all. We had a meeting of the trustees and interested 
friends on Saturday night, after which we repaired to 
this hospitable home. In the room in which I slept, 
which was twelve by fourteen feet square, there were 
four beds. Three persons slept in each bed, except the 
one which the preacher was to occupy with the head of 
the family. In the other room, which was smaller and 
had the cookstove in it, there were five beds, and the 
intermediate space was occupied by the rising genera- 
tion until next morning. 

The day dawned auspiciously, and the people came 
in groups from far and near until the whole prairie 
around the church was alive with teams and the church 
was filled with people to its utmost capacity. As we 
walked to the house of worship my big-hearted hostess 
said to me : "That church has got to be paid for today if 
we have to part with our homestead. We can go West 
and take up more land and pre-empt it if necessary." 
All this time I was wondering. Where lay the secret of 
this zeal? 

Before me gathered nearly one hundred young 
men and women of ages ranging from fifteen to twen- 
ty-five young people as intelligent as are found any- 
where, who had come with their parents from older 
states where they had enjoyed the advantages of 
church and Sabbath school, but who without a house 
of worship would soon have passed into such in- 
difference as would have foreboded moral ruin. The 


children! — this was the secret which led to so much 
joyful toil and self-sacrifice in the erection of this 

The company of people was so great that many 
could not find room, notwithstanding the aisles were 
seated with chairs and wagon-seats from the numerous 
farm wagons in which the families came to the dedica- 
tion. Quite a company of men were around the door 
and near the windows, which were opened so they 
could hear the sermon, for I was to "preach for all 
that was out" — as well as for all who were in. 

We had had a feast of spiritual singing and I was 
preaching from a favorite dedicatory text, Galatians iv,, 
4, 5 : "When the fullness of the time was come God sent 
forth His son, made of a woman, made under the law, 
that we might receive the adoption of sons." The 
audience had become deeply interested in the dis- 
course, and I was about through its delivery, when out 
from the North came an old Indian chief with some of 
his tribe, his four squaws, and more than a dozen of 
his children. Some of them were pappooses on their 
mothers' backs, with all the wickups, poles and para- 
phernalia of a real Indian camp on their ponies. When 
they came in full view of the church, teams and crowds 
of men, they halted, then diverged to the left of the 
road until they came within about an eighth of a mile 
and stopped again. Some of the men went out to them 
and talked to the old chief, who, with his people, were 
on their way to visit tribal relatives in the Indian Ter- 
ritory, intending to remain "two moons." 

Imagine his astonishment to witness such a change 
on the very grounds over which he had roamed from 
boyhood to manhood, and which his people had occu- 
pied in undisputed possession for centuries. The con- 


trast of the situation, the difference between the Indian 
clan before us and the assembly of white people in 
their Christian homes and church, was so vivid as to 
afford me the opportunity of showing the advantages 
of revealed religion over the "light of nature" and un- 
assisted reason. The Indian had nature for a teacher 
and nothing to do but study the book. He neither 
toiled nor did he spin. The procession of states and 
planets went silently in their incessant march before 
him. The mountains with their pinnacled tops pointed 
constantly toward heaven. But he knew not God, nor 
Christ who had redeemed him. But the Bible, the 
Church, the Christian Altar and Sabbath all told of 
immortality and eternal life. 

It was a glad day for the neighborhood and people. 
The debt was amply provided for and the church duly 
dedicated, to become a center of attraction and a joy to 
the whole community. 




The closing years of my life as a pastor have been 
pleasantly and efficiently spent in the Kansas Con- 
ference. Up to April, 1887, after having retired from the 
ownership of the Kansas Methodist, I served as or- 
ganizer of the temperance forces of the state. At that 
date I concluded to re-enter pastoral relations and ac- 
cepted the charge of the church at Marysville, Marshall 
County. This was a pleasant little city and the mem- 
bership of the church, though not large, was com- 
posed of pious Christian oeople among whom it was a 
pleasure to live. I associated myself with Halcyon 
Lodge of Independent Order of Odd Fellows, by 
transfer from my home lodge, and otherwise became 
identified with the interests of my charge and its peo- 
ple. But little of unusual importance occurred during 
my two years' residence at Marysville, though many 
incidents serving to strengthen us in the service of the 
Master are recorded in our hearts. 

At the close of my second years' pastorate at Marys- 
ville we were assigned the station of Wamego, on the 
Union Pacific railroad, and here spent two very de- 
lightful and profitable years of service. During our 
residence at Wamego we held a number of successful 
protracted meetings, at which there were many con- 
versions to Christ. Among those converted was a 
bright young girl named Bessie Lilly. Her mother 
had been a Baptist, her father a Baptist preacher. 


When the time came for the administration of the 
sacrament of baptism Bessie elected to be baptised by 
the method most commonly in vogue in the Methodist 
church and was sprinkled. Her grandmother, hearing 
of this, visited her and taking the little girl upon her 
knee expressed her regret that she had chosen to be 
baptised in this way, presenting most earnestly her ob- 
jections to this method of administering this sacra- 
ment. The grandchild listened respectfully, but was 
only confused by the earnestness with which her 
grandmother urged immersion as a saving grace, and 
finally sighingly said to her, "Grandma, if you don't 
stop talking to me that way you will make me an out 
and out invalid." The child got the word mixed, but 
her grandmother saw the force of her reasoning and 
yielded the point at issue. Beyond doubt many men 
and women are made infidels by the confusion in doc- 
trines and sacraments in the various church denomi- 
nations. To them these differences seem to undo a 
great deal of the teaching of the church, and stand out 
in bold antagonism to the preached doctrines of a 
brotherhood religion. 

From the time we used to hold union Sabbath school 
services in my boyhood days, and the time of the union 
meeting earlier recited as having occurred in which 
the Quakers and Methodists came together to serve 
one God, I have been a firm believer in the useful- 
ness of union church services and have wished that the 
time may come when all Christian denominations 
whose doctrines are not widely at variance may wor- 
ship the Master under one membership. I cannot but 
feel that through the union of all Christian forces 
greater good than now would be accompHshed and 
more precious souls would be brought to believe in 
Christ and Him crucified. The confusion of almost 


innumerable denominations cannot but be confusing 
and unsatisying to the unbeliever. 

May God in His own good time bring us together. 

While at Wamego for my second year I had the 
satisfaction and pleasure, and a pleasure it was, too, 
of visiting the four conferences now in Kansas, which 
were formed out of the original Kansas Conference of 
which I became a member in territorial days. 

The South Kansas Conference met at Chanute. I 
attended a lovefeast during the session, at which many 
gave testimony of the goodness of God. After a great 
many had spoken I arose near the altar and briefly re- 
lated a part of my Christian experience, this prompting 
the recital of the conversion and entrance upon the 
Methodist ministry of the brother whose conversion 
was due to Mrs. Shugro's recital to him of my escape 
at the time of Quantrell's raid, as already recorded. 

I next attended the Northwestern Kansas Confer- 
ence in session at Norton, the county seat of Norton 
County. On the way to this conference I met with an 
accident which all but cost me my life. Upon reach- 
ing Mankato, on the Rock Island railroad, we were 
snow-bound for nearly ninety hours. There were a 
number of preachers and the presiding bishop. Bishop 
Merrill, on the train. A deep cut was packed full of 
snow and the plows were at work trying to clear the 
tracks, three locomotives being employed in the work. 
The passengers were irresistably drawn to where the 
excavating was going on. One of the party. Rev. Dr. 
Stoltz, had been ill and I remained behind with him for 
a time, but when he became better we started up the 
track to where the snow-plows were at work, not 
know^ing that there was a locomotive behind us. We 
were walking deliberately up the track, unconscious of 


danger, when an engine under good head of steam 
approached from behind. We were not seen by either 
the engineer or fireman, they being otherwise occupied 
and not expecting that any one would be on the track 
with the snow banked high on either side. A cry of 
warning was raised from an adjoining elevator and 
heard by Dr. Stoltz, who sprung from the track in time 
to reach a place of safety. He cried to me to look out 
for the locomotive. We had not thought of danger 
from the rear, so I looked sharply ahead, thinking he 
meant that an engine might approach from that di- 
rection. He called loudly the second time, and turn- 
ing I saw the locomotive with a snow-plow, looking 
like the end of a barn, directly upon me. I could 
neither turn nor run nor jump sidewise in time to be 
saved. I felt a sense of resentment to think I was 
thus placed in an unconscious danger simply because 
the engineer and firemen were not on the lookout 
ahead, and seeing no other chance for escape sprang 
with all my strength right on the pilot. The engine 
was approaching at such speed, however, that I was 
thrown from the pilot to one side. I was thus saved 
from being crushed to death beneath the pon- 
derous machine, but as it passed me the stop-cock of 
an escape pipe caught me and held me alongside the 
driving wheels a prisoner, lying flat on the snow-cov- 
ered ties, close to the rail, as the great engine with its 
snow-plow attachment passed almost over me. I was 
so close to the drivers that one of them wrenched my 
over-shoe from my foot. Brother Stoltz turned blind 
and faint as I struck the pilot and was hurled to one 
side, and marveled to see me escape alive. Though 
my danger was of a different nature, yet it was but 
little less pronounced than when the guerrillas entered 
my cellar at Lawrence in search of my life. I praised 


God that I had again escaped a violent death, attended 
conference as planned, and returned home to recite to 
my wife who had saved me from the murderous hands 
of the Quantrell raiders how again I had had a narrow 
escape from imminent danger from which the Lord in 
His goodness had delivered me. 

While at Wamego I lectured to the congregation 
and citizens on the Quantrell Raid, at the special re- 
quest of numbers of the people who knew something 
of my marvelous escape, and who were, therefore, 
more deeply interested in my recital of the awful mas- 
sacre than they would otherwise have been. The last 
time I delivered this lecture Mr. M. D. Embly, one of 
our citizens, said to a friend, "I have heard Dr. Fisher's 
lecture four different times; I don't believe I care to 
hear it again." When the hour came, however, he was 
persuaded by his wife to accompany her, and I noticed 
that he listened with marked attention. As he re- 
turned to his home he said to his wife, ''I have now 
heard that lecture five times. I thought I should never 
care to hear it again, but I will give a five dollar bill 
to hear it once more." Though indirectly a compli- 
ment to the lecturer, perhaps, yet the thrilling incidents 
of the story had so grown upon him that it had failed 
to become an old story, and its recital for the fifth 
time had so aroused his interest in the part his state 
had played in the War of the Rebellion that he had 
come to be a ready listener to the review of the most 
deplorable of all its unfortunate occurrences. 

At the close of my pastoral term at Wamego I was 
stationed at Westmoreland, the county seat of Potta- 
watomie County. I confess when my appointment to 
this charge was announced I was disappointed. It 


caused me to recall a story of Rev. George S. Holmes, 
under whose pastorate I served as a lad, and of whom 
I have repeatedly spoken in the earHer pages of this 
volume. Brother Holmes expected to be stationed at 
a certain charge at one of the conference sittings, but 
when the appointments were read out he was surprised 
to hear that he was assigned to one of the most un- 
inviting of all the charges, a place to which he had not 
had the slightest thought of being sent. As soon as 
the Bishop had finished his appointments Brother 
Holmes rose in his place on the conference floor, ad- 
dressed the Bishop and conference, and voiced the 
following words. "Bishop, and Brethren, I was taught 
to believe that the assignment of preachers at the 
sittings of our conferences is the work of the Lord and 
the Bishop. But since hearing where I am to go for 
the next twelve months I have reached the conclusion 
that this particular lot of appointments is more likely 
to have been made by the Devil and the Presiding 

This was about the way I felt when assigned to 
Westmoreland. But in this, as in many other things 
in which my voice has been raised in doubt of the 
wisdom on God's movements as they have related to 
me, I was doomed to a pleasurable disappointment. 
Our station was a quiet town, off of any railroad. It 
first seemed to me like a burial of myself and wife 
to go there. It was so quiet that one of my little 
grandsons, in writing to his Papa about it, wrote, 
**Every day is like Sunday up here and Sunday is like 
a funeral." This quiet was almost unbearable at first, 
but I soon learned that it was just what I needed. 
Furthermore, the people were among the most hos- 
pitable and considerate I have ever presided over. Our 
church work was satisfactory to us in large degree, 


while our social life in Westmoreland was restful and 
in many respects delightful. 

Among appointments I took in was one called 
Moodyville Springs, a popular summer resort. On 
one occasion at this station there were present under 
my preaching one hundred and eleven persons, young 
and old, immediately connected with a family named 
Siddens. A large number of them were professed 
Christians. This remarkable incident was made espe- 
cially impressive by the fact that within a twelvemonth 
I was called upon to bury seven adult members of this 
family connection. 

While pastor at Westmoreland I was stricken, al- 
most without a moment's warning, with the 
most violent illness of my Hfe, neuralgia of 
the heart. For a time my life was despaired 
of by physician, wife and friends. In the 
extremest moment of my illness I looked back upon 
my eventful past and could but feel that while there 
was many an hour and many a day and many a month 
and many a year in which I could do better, perhaps, 
had I my life to live over again, yet, after all, I had 
tried as best I could in an humble way to serve my 
Master, and I could but feel that all would be well with 
me were I called to leave my loved ones. Looking 
over my church life to see if there was anything upon 
which to depend for safety I was made comfortable and 
happy in the beautiful words that came to my mind: 

"My hope is built on nothing less 

Than Jesus' blood and righteousness. 
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, 
But wholly lean on Jesus' name." 

I was ready to go if it were God's will. But under 


His providence I was spared for other years, though 
shattered in health for a time. 

It was during this severe illness, more than at any 
other time, that I was made to feel and understand 
God's providence in sending me to the good people 
of Westmoreland, whom I shall ever bear in grateful 
remembrance for their uniform kindness and support 
in this dark hour. 

My own illness at Westmoreland and a serious ill- 
ness which overtook Mrs. Fisher at conference, deter- 
mined me to take a superannuated relation rather than 
again undertake the arduous duties of pastorate life. 
This step was not taken without much consideration 
and prayer. We possessed a comfortable home in 
Topeka. We were growing old. Our boys could not 
make it convenient to visit us at out-of-the-way points 
as they wished they might, and as we would have been 
glad to have had them do. During my alarming ill- 
ness neither of my doctor-sons could get to us. So 
taking everything into consideration I decided I had 
better seek retirement from active pastoral duties and 
serve God as best I might be able in other lines of 

A special reason which operated to cause me to 
reach this decision arose from the fact that I had de- 
cided to become a candidate for the chaplaincy of the 
United States Congress at its Fifty-fourth session, 
having received assurances from Honorable Case 
Broderick, representing the First Kansas District, and 
Honorable Charles Curtis, representing the Fourth 
District, at Washington, that I would most likely be 
chosen to this honorable position. I could but feel 
that this would be an acceptable closing of a life of 
usefulness in the service of the church and our coun- 


try, and felt, also, that it would give me more of the 
leisure and rest than pastoral work, and would afford 
me opportunities for useful labor in a Hne of work 
which I desired to take up between sessions of 
Congress, were I elected. Therefore, I asked for and 
was granted superannuated relation at the session of 
the Kansas Conference held in Atchison in March, 
1895, after more than forty years of active pastoral 
duties, above thirty of which had been spent in the 
service of the Master in the Kansas Conference. 




In entering upon a formal candidacy for the chap^ 
laincy of Congress I was gratified beyond measure at 
the warmth of support I received from almost every 
one with whom I came in contact in this relation. It 
was a case of where a prophet is not without honor in 
his own country. Every state elective official, almost 
the entire membership of the Kansas State Senate and 
House of Representatives, members of the Supreme 
Court of Kansas, and several of the District Judges 
of the State, the officers of the Grand Army of the 
Republic of Kansas and many of its prominent mem- 
bers, together with leading members of the church 
and citizens all over Kansas serving in private ca- 
pacity, joined in signing my papers of recommenda- 
tion and wishing me every possible success in this can- 
didacy. Better than riches is a good name among the 
brethren and one's fellow men. I could but feel most 
highly complimented by the freedom and unanimity 
with which the support of the state officers and legis- 
lators was tenderd my congressional supporters and 

Armed with these recommendations and with 
promises of votes from members of congress from a 
dozen or more different states, I repaired to Washing- 
ton in the fall of 1895 in the interests of my candidacy. 
Messrs. Broderick and Curtis had managed my cam- 
paign with admirable skill, and to my extreme gratifi- 
cation I found that it was generally accepted that I 


would be named for the chaplaincy on the ticket 
headed by Mr. McDowell, of Pennsylvania, as a can- 
didate for the clerkship of the House of Representa- 
tives. This ticket was generally conceded to win in the 
caucus,therefore my name was most freely mentioned 
as that of the coming chaplain. The office had been 
long looked upon as belonging to the clergy of the 
District of Columbia, five of whom were in the race 
against me. Rev. E. H. Couden, of Michigan, a blind 
preacher of the Unitarian church, was also in the 

When the caucus convened Mr. McDowell was eas- 
ily elected as the candidate of the republicans for the 
clerkship of the House. The remaining candidates on 
the ticket headed by him were also successful, but the 
balloting was prolonged well in the night and the 
members were growing tired before the balloting for a 
candidate for chaplain began. Seven names were 
placed in nomination, my name being placed before 
the caucus by Mr. Broderick in an earnest plea that 
the Kansas Chaplain might be chosen. 

The balloting began and I led the race, receiving 
just as many as all the balance of the candidates to- 
gether received. One more vote would have nomi- 
nated me. The second ballot was taken and again I 
received exactly as many votes as all the rest together. 
It was then after midnight, and the members were 
weary and beginning to scatter. Opposing friends 
conceded that I would be elected on the next ballot, 
and some of my supporters, hearing that the other 
candidates were to be withdrawn one by one in my 
favor, thought it not necessary to remain and left for 
their hotels. This was a fatal mistake. The third bal- 
lot was called and votes were being cast when a mem- 
ber from Massachusetts violated the rule of the caucus 


and in explaining his vote made an earnest plea that 
the blind preacher might be chosen, and thus the 
McDowell slate be broken on one office, at least. 
Sympathy was aroused for the blind brother and those 
of the candidates who had intended withdrawing in my 
favor were not able to prevent their supporters from 
going to Rev. Mr. Couden, who on the third ballot 
received the nomination which on two ballots was 
mine had I received but one more vote. 

The most stinging part of my defeat was because it 
was accomplished by a representative from Kansas, 
through his not casting the necessary ballot for the 
candidate of his own state. Representative Miller, of 
Kansas City, Kansas, supported the candidacy of Mr. 
Henderson, of Illinois, against that of Mr. McDowell, 
for the clerkship, and refused to support me because I 
was the candidate of the McDowell ticket. Every rep- 
resentative from Kansas but Mr. Miller considered that 
it would be an honor for his state to have the office, 
but he preferred that Kansas should not be thus recog- 
nized than that a single candidate on the McDowell 
ticket should receive his vote. Had it been given when 
I lacked the one necessary to give me a majority of the 
entire number cast I would have been the nominee and 
the West would have had the office for the first time. 
But he preferred to gratify his selfish opposition to the 
McDowell ticket all the way through and thus defeated 
his townsman. The responsibility is his. I recite the 
facts without comment. 

My vote on the second tie was one hundred and nine 
ballots against one hundred and nine for the other 
seven clergymen in the field. 

It has been held that had Mr. Miller cast his ballot 
for the Kansas candidate it would have resulted in 
securing for the state the appointment of a number to 


clerkships, thus realizing to our citizens honors and 
many thousands of dollars now lost to them, and that 
among the results would probably have been the se- 
curement of the reading clerkship. Of this I have 
knowledge from congressmen, my information coming 
from sources of eminent reliabiHty, in all probability 
fully correct. 

To say that my defeat did not bring disappointment 
would be untrue. But whatever of disappointment I 
experienced and whatever of bitterness toward the de- 
faulting Kansas Representative I have felt is materially 
lessened by the fact that the successful candidate in 
every way deserved recognition by his country because 
of his affliction, a result of the war. I cannot but 
feel that had I been a member of that caucus and had 
I not been pledged to some other candidate for per- 
sonal or local reasons I should have cast my ballot for 
the blind man. Sympathy for his affliction elected 
him, but it was a commendable sympathy. May God 
bless him in the performance of the duties I aspired to 
perform, is my prayer. 

I have said that my candidacy developed the fact 
that in this instance a prophet was not altogether with- 
out honor in his own country. During the canvass I 
received most hearty assurances of sympathy and sup- 
port from many sources, some of whom which had 
not been hoped for nor thought of. After the ques- 
tion had been settled by Rev. Mr. Couden's election 
I was made to feel even more gratifyingly than before 
that both in church and state I am held in high esteem, 
and that my failure of election brought as great a de- 
gree of disappointment to many warm friends as it 
did unto me. I violate no confidence in appending 
some of the endorsements received while the canvass 


was on and expressions of sympathy and regrets after 
it was over. I cannot but feel that I would fail in the 
performance of a pleasant duty should I not take pains 
to express my gratification for these kindly expres- 
sions of confidence and publicly voice the thankfulness 
that in me is for that large warmheartedness of my 
Bishop, my state and my friends, in thus coming to 
me with support and sympathizing voice and heart in 
the closing years of an earnest life. 

Petition of Kansas State Senate: 

Topeka, Kansas. 
Hon. Case Broderick, 

Member of Congress, Washington, D. C. 

We, members of the senate, learn with much pleas- 
ure that you propose the choice of Rev. H. D. Fisher, 

D. D., as Chaplain of the House of Representatives of 
the Fifty-fourth Congress. 

His long and efficient services, his unswerving loy- 
alty and devotion to the republican party, as well as his 
eminent ministerial labors, peculiarly qualify him for 
the position. 

His loyal and faithful service In the army as chaplain 
of the Fifth Kansas Cavalry, entitle him to such a posi- 
tion and recognition. We heartily commend you for 
this generous effort and hope you will succeed. 

Lucien Baker Senator 3rd District. 

(Now United States Senator.) 

James D. Williamson Senator 3rd District. 

W. A. Morgan Senator 23rd District. 

E. T. Metcalf Senator 7th District. 

Milton Brown Senator 38th District. 

K. E. Willcockson Senator 39th District. 

J. W. Parker Senator 6th District. 

John A . Carpenter Senator 13th District. 


H. F. Robbins Senator i8th District. 

L. P. King Senator 27th District. 

T. V. Thorpe Senator 5th District. 

D. McTaggart Senator 12th District. 

W. E. Sterne Senator 17th District. 

S. T. Danner Senator 30th District. 

Jas. Troutman Lieutenant Governor. 

Jas. Shearn Senator 19th District. 

H. G. Jampar Senator i6th District. 

Jno. Armstrong Senator 35th District. 

Anson S. Cooke .Senator 33rd District. 

J. W. Leeds Senator 36th District. 

G. E. Smith Senator 40th District. 

W. P. Dillord Senator 8th District 

PI. M. Reid Senator 9th District. 

J. H. Reilley Senator nth District. 

Edwin Taylor Senator 4th District. 

Geo. D. BowHng Senator 32nd District. 

Alden E. True Senator 21st District. 

A. G. Farney Senator 28th District. 

Jason Helmick Senator 26th District. 

R. E. Baldwin Senator 31st District. 

E. O. Bryan Senator 29th District. 

Chas. F. Scott Senator 14th District. 

H. S. Landis Senator 37th District. 

Levi Dumbauld Senator 24th District. 

John M. Price Senator 2nd District. 

M. A. Housholder Senator loth District. 

A. W. Dennison Senator 25th District. 

W. B. Helm Senator 34th District. 

J. W. Leevy Senator 15th District. 

Wm. Rogers Senator 20th District. 

W. Senn Senator 22nd District. 


Endorsement of Old Soldiers in Convention: 

Lawrence, Kansas, October 15, 1895. 
To Whom it May Concern: 

At the annual meeting of the Douglas County Old 
Soldiers and Sailors Association, held at Lawrence, 
Kansas, October 15, 1895, it was learned that Chaplain 
IT. D. Fisher had been named by the Hon. Case Brod- 
erick for the Chaplaincy of the House of Representa- 
tives, for the Fifty-fourth Congress. 

Chaplain Fisher was a resident of Lawrence seven 
years, entered the service at the outbreak of the Re- 
belhon, remaining until its close, serving as Chaplain 
(and known as the "Fighting Chaplain") of the Fifth 
Kansas Volunteer Cavalry, therefore, 

Resolved, That in his selection for such place Repre- 
sentatives can make no mistake, but will secure a 
worthy, capable and deserving Christian gentleman, 
who will reflect credit upon the state he has so long 
and faithfully served, as well as upon those who may 
vote for his selection as Chaplain of the incoming Con- 
gress. Albert R. Greene, 

Stephen H. Andrews, President. 


Endorsement of the Fifth Kansas Cavalry in Re- 
union Assembled: 

Ottawa, Kansas, September 4, 1895. 
Head-quarters Fifth Kansas Cavalry Volunteers, 

Ottawa, Kansas. 
Hon. Case Broderick, 

Dear Sir: It afifords us pleasure to know that you 
propose the election of Rev. H. D. Fisher, late Chap- 
lain of the Fifth Kansas Cavalry, as Chaplain of the 
House of Representatives, Fifty-fourth Congress. We 
assure you that we appreciate this honor as to our 


regiment, and that in his election our delegates in Con- 
gress will make no mistake. We request them to 
unite with you to secure his election. 

Most respectfully yours, 
The Fifth Kansas Volunteers in Reunion Assembled. 
O. E. Morse, Powell Clayton, 

Secretary. President. 

Expressions of Sympathy and Regret from Bishop 

Topeka, Kansas, December i, 1895. 
My Dear Dr. Fisher: 

I learn from "The Capital" this morning that you 
failed, through a Kansas vote, to secure the prize you 
coveted and deserved. I am sorry; I am very sorry. 
And Representative Miller, whoever he is, ought to 
be required to give his reason — whether it be religious, 
denominational, political or personal. You have the 
confidence of the whole state, the love of your church, 
the testimony of a good conscience, and you crown 
everything by your magnanimity in defeat. 

Your faithful brother, 

John H. Vincent. 

Explanation of Mr. Miller, from Hon. Case Brod- 

House of Representatives, U. S., 
Washington, D. C, December 6, 1895. 
Rev. H. D. Fisher, D. D., 

Topeka, Kansas. 
My Dear Sir: 

I found among my papers the petition signed 
by all the state senators asking your appointment as 
chaplain. I was of the opinion when you were here 
that I had left all these papers at home. 
I trust vou have reached home safely. 


The vote on the chaplaincy Is still being discussed 
here. Mr. Miller's explanation that he was determined 
to defeat the combine, when they were complaining on 
the other hand that Kansas wasn't to get enough from 
the McDowell people, seems quite inconsistent. The 
Michigan members had all been in the combine on 
everything except chaplain, which shows that Mr. Mil- 
ler's effort was to prevent Kansas from securing any- 
thing in the organization. He knew that every state 
senator in Kansas and nearly all the members of the 
lower house of the legislature, the prominent people 
in Pottawatomie County, and many Grand Army peo- 
ple had all declared in favor of your election, but it 
seemed to have no effect. 

My daughters join in sending kind regards. 

Yours very truly, 
Case Broderick. 

Expressions of Sympathy and Regret from Judge 
Guthrie : 

Topeka, Kansas, December i, 1895. 
Rev. H. D. Fisher, D. D., 

Washington, D. C. 
Dear Sir: 

I have watched the progress of your canvass for 
chaplain ever since you left for Washington, and Sat- 
urday night remained at the Capital office until a dis- 
patch came stating that you were elected chaplain with 
the McDowell ticket. But the Capital this morning 
reports a man from Michigan elected. I assure you I 
am greatly disappointed in the result. Kansas would 
have appreciated your success. But there is nothing 
to be gained by a post mortem discussion of the causes 
of misfortune. I suppose you will be home soon, when 


I hope you will call at my office and tell me about your 
experiences. Truly and sincerely, 

T J ^, John Guthrie. 

Judge Shawnee District Court 




Universal history has estabHshed the fact that war is 
barbarous and demorahzing in its effects upon those 
engaging in it, even though the outcome may advance 
civiHzation by affording opportunities for better con- 
ditions — as, for example, the great revolutionary war, 
which resulted in the establishment of a nation free 
from kingship and a national independence, and the 
late civil war. The latter was a terrible test of integ- 
rity, honor and morality, and, viewed from the stand- 
point of other great wars, many wise and philanthropic 
citizens contemplated with dismay the moral effect 
upon society and the nation of the disbanding of such 
an army of men, after such prolonged absence from 
home and civilizing influences as our citizen soldiers 
had endured. The world looked on with solicitude and 
awaited results. Never did the sun shine upon such a 
scene; never did pen of historian record such results. 
A mighty army of men, vanquished and conquered, re- 
turned to their homes to pursue a better life under the 
magic words of their conqueror, "Let us have peace;" 
while the conquerors returned to theirs, flushed with 
victory, won on the bloodiest battle-fields the world 
ever sawT, the proud saviors of the best and grandest 
nation on earth and the brightest and most expressive 
and significant fiag that the sunlight of Heaven ever 
gilded or the breezes of God ever kissed, for the most 


part wiser and better men and citizens tban when they 
enlisted in their country's cause. 

The fears of the nation were dissipated in an in- 
credibly short time ; for these conquerors had learned to 
obey orders, respect authority, magnify law, love home 
and admire and adore pure womanhood ; and with very 
few exceptions they readily returned to the peaceful 
avocations of private business and professional life, to 
be at once recognized as sober and honorable citizens 
of a prosperous and re-united nation. 

On the Fourteenth of April, 1861, the flag had 
been lowered 'on Fort Sumter; and just four years 
afterwards "Old Glory" was raised by Major General 
Anderson, who had so nobly defended our national 
honor when the first gun of the rebellion was fired at 
the heart of the nation by Beauregard. The ceremonies 
were appropriate and national in character and impor- 
tance. In April, 1865, more than a million men were 
in military service, a still larger number had been 
previously discharged, and already over three hundred 
and fifty thousand noble patriots had been numbered as 
the grand army of the dead. 

The total enrollment in the military service Oif the 
nation had reached above 2,860,000, which, reduced to 
an average of three years service, numbered more than 
2,320,000. There had been killed in battle 67,058; died 
of wounds and other injuries, 43,032; died of disease, 
224,586, and from unclassified causes 24,852, making a 
total death roll of 259,528. This was the number of 
heroes who gave their lives for the life of the nation. 

The engagements numbered more than two thou- 
s<and; many of them were mighty battles, displaying 
the splendid powers of the Americans on the field of 

The navy numbered 122,000 men, variously em- 


ployed, and made a record unequaled in the history of 
naval warfare, covering a line of coast patrol and de- 
fense from the British line on the north to the Rio 
Grande on the south, rendering incalculable service to 
the army on land, blocking posts and capturing forts. 

When Gen. Lee surrendered to the "Silent Man of 
Destiny" Secretary Stanton proposed that the armies 
of Meade and Sherman should be reviewed in Washing- 
ton before being disbanded. The armies of the Poto- 
mac, Tennessee, and of Georgia, therefore, rendez- 
voused in the neighborhood of the Capitol City to be 
reviewed on May 2^^ and 24, 1865, the necessary orders 
being issued by Lieutenant General U. S. Grant. 

Washington never presented such a gorgeous scene 
of decoration as welcomed the war-begrimed veterans 
who marched those proud days through Pennsylvania 
Avenue with martial music and national songs, under 
the re-baptized folds of the dear old flag, now rendered 
doubly dear to loyal Americans because it had gained 
a higher place in the galaxy of nations. Such a pageant 
never trod the streets of any earthly city. The rarest 
welcome was accorded the victorious hosts, such a wel- 
come as human pen cannot describe nor tongue ' of 
golden eloquence depict, nor painters pencil imitate. 
It was the tribute to Liberty's choicest nation. Upon 
the front of the Capitol building hung in splendor an 
emblazoned canvas on which was the grateful acknowl- 


Many states were represented by their loyal sons and 
daughters, who' welcomed the returning heroes, espe- 
cially those from their own commonwealths. President 
Andrew Johnson and cabinet, diplomats and envoys of 


Other nations, with governors of many of the states, 
occupied reviewing stands near the White House. The 
war governors, notably John A. Andrews of Massachu- 
setts and Andrew J. Curtin of Pennsylvania, were hon- 
ored and welcomed for the promptness and steadfast- 
ness of their loyalty and sympathy for the soldiers. As 
they passed the reviewing stand, recognizing familiar 
leaders and feeHng that thrill of comradeship by the 
touch of elbows, covered as they were with honor and 
glory, the occasion had yet a peculiar saddening and 
sanctifying effect which possessed all hearts, because of 
the absence of that sad yet intelligent face which would 
have been lighted with a halo of benignity at this hour, 
all afiame with love and gratitude from that mighty 
heart w^hich had borne such great concern for long 
yeiars of patient toil and waiting. That face was in 
every man's mind and heart all along the march up 
Pennsylvania Avenue, like a spiritual presence and 
benediction. It was the face of the martyred Lincoln. 
What memories rushed like phantoms through those 
soldiers' minds, even as they heard the shouts and 
plaudits of the welcoming multitudes! It was the 
triumphal march of the Grand Army of the Repubhc. 

And now the absorbing question became, How shall 
its integrity be preserved and its comradeship be per- 
petuated; how shall its lessons of patriotism, loyalty 
and sacrifice be transmitted to the generations follow- 
ing, that what they achieve may be protected through 
the ages to come? 

I have intimated that two great agencies were at 
work to aid in the preservation of this vast army of dis- 
banded victors. One of these has not been properly 
recognized or valued by the nation — the loyal, loving 
women, the wives of soldiers, and sweethearts of the 
boys in blue. These noble women met the battle- 


stained soldiers lovingly and with tenderness. While 
the boys in blue had fought and won the wTomen at 
home had prayed and worked and waited; they had 
kept their love burning like lamps towards the final 
home-coming, and now that that home-coming w-as 
realized they joined hand and fortune with the be- 
grimed and battered men unshrinkingly, and went out 
in the world with them to build, and bake, and win. 
Tens of thousands of our cO'mrades have been pros- 
perous in business, happy in their homes, respected by 
their neighbors and useful to the state and nation, for 
the reason that our pure and loyal women were willing 
to ally their destinies for life with a soldier; willing to 
aid those ragmuffin boys-in-blue, unkempt, roughened 
by camp-life, penniless, to develop the good traits of 
character they had preserved during the war. All 
honor to the loyal women who loved the nation loyally 
and her soldier boys yet more, and who helped them 
and are still helping tliem to work out a higher indivi- 
dual and national destiny. 

The other chief agent in making the soldiers of that 
cruel war the useful and successful men they have been 
was the early organization and successful maintenance 
of the "Grand Army of the Republic." No such or- 
ganization ever existed in any clime or nation, and no 
companionships ever existed similar to the comrade- 
ships of our Grand Army. We marched and tented, we 
fought and bivouacked on the same field ;' we ate in the 
same mess, slept under the same blanket, drank out of 
the same canteen; we suffered in the same hospitals, 
buried our comrades in the common grave of heroes; 
we sang the same army songs, and helped to swell 
the same shout of victory. Over us ever waved the 
flag for whose honor we would have willingly died. 
Why, then, should not comradeship live forever? 


"So it Is, SO may it ever be." 

The solicitude felt for the welfare of the soldiers 
was not confined to those in the most commanding po- 
sitions, but largely shared by the comrades in the ranks 
and the faithful Christian Chaplains. The first record- 
ed suggestion which led to the formation of "fellow- 
ship of comrades" was made by Chaplain H. I. Rut- 
ledge, of the Fourteenth Hlinois Infantry, while with 
his regiment with Sherman's expedition to Meridian, 
February, 1864. He and Rev. Dr. Stephenson, who 
were messmates, agreed that the soldiers at the close 
of the war would naturally desire to preserve the friend- 
ships and memories of their common trials, dangers and 
victories, and after the close of army service this sub- 
ject was kept ahve by correspondence until in March, 
1866, they met by appointment in Springfield, Illinois, 
and formulated a ritual for the proposed organization. 

Dr. Stephenson is doubtless entitled to the credit, 
tho' accrediting a large degree of the same to Chaplain 
Rutledge, of formulating this ritual. Both were aided 
in perfecting the plans and purposes of the Grand 
Army of the Republic by advising comrades. One of 
these comrades, J. S. Phelps, has in his possession a 
copy of the ritual of the ''Soldiers' and Sailors' League 
of St. Louis." The name adopted, "Grand Army of the 
Republic," was perhaps suggested by the meaning of 
other organizations. The ritual agreed upon was 
printed with great care and secrecy, and on the sixth 
of April, 1866, Major Stephenson and Captain Phelps 
organized at Decatur, Illinois, the first Post created 
under charter. 

Like all human organizations, the ritual needed re- 
vision and simplification. This it has received from 
time to time as exigencies have suggested. Among 
the declaration of principles is : 


First — "The preservation of those kind and fraternal 
feelings which have been bound together with the 
strong cords of love the comrades in arms of many 
battles, sieges and marches. 

Second — *'To make these ties available in works and 
results of kindness, of favor, and ma^terial aid to those 
in need of assistance. 

Third — "To care for the orphans and widows of 
comrades and for the disabled." 

Dr. Stephenson, the founder of the Grand Army, was 
born October 30, 1822, and died August 30, 1871. He 
lived usefully, died peacefully, and sleeps in Rose Hill 
Cemetery, on the banks of the Sangamon, in hope of 
the First Resurrection. The commanders-in-chief of 
the Grand Army of the Republic form a galaxy of 
bright and useful comrades whose services shed luster 
upon the names and deeds of the citizen soldiers of the 
grandest army ever marshalled in the interest of 
Freedom's holy cause. Among these Fairchild and 
Logan shine most conspicuously. 

Great national interests were subserved by the Grand 
Army under the wise and prompt action of General 
Logan when the arbitrary spirit of President Johnson 
had proposed the removal of the great war secretary, 
Edwin M. Stanton, by military force. General Logan 
bivouacked in the ofhce of the secretary with Mr. Stan- 
ton, and the Grand Army patrolled the streets of the 
city, guarded the war department, and were ready at a 
moment's warning to protect the government from a 
military coup d'et^at at the risk of their lives. 

The world never before beheld the peaceful, quiet, 
orderly disbanding of an army of a million victorious 
soldiers returning to the peaceful pursuits of civil life 
without rioting or vagrancy. Triumphal war songs 
were exchanged for Christian melodies, and the hands 


which had learned the art of war took up the hammer, 
the plow, the spade and the spindle, and the land was 
soon filled with peace and plenty. 

Other agencies wrought well and effectively to bring 
about this splendid state of affairs, but none so mightily 
and successfully as this Grand Army comradeship. The 
conception of such an organization was almost a divine 
inspiration — the results of prophecy fulfilled. The 
soldier-citizen is the highest type of sovereignty, and 
he has set the standard of morality and patriotism 
higher than ever before. The Post-room, the Camp 
Fire, the Reunion, and the Encampment are schools 
which cannot but continue to draw the lines of com- 
radeships more and more closely, and further 
strengthen the ties of affection as the ranks of the 
Grand Army of the Republic are thinned by the re- 
curring roll-call, ever attesting the promotions from 
the militant army to the grand rendezvous in The Land 
Beyond the River. 

woman's relief corps. 

This chapter would be incomplete did it not record 
more fully that meed of praise belonging to the women 
of the nation for their deeds of heroic valor. These 
were not only shown in many helpful ways during the 
war and in esteem and affection for the returned sol- 
diers, but especially is it noteworthy that the national 
heroines have organized the Woman's Relief Corps, 
composed of loyal women — whether soldiers' wives, 
widows and daughters or not — of all women willing 
to aid in perpetuating the memories of the loyal sol- 
diers, in helping to make their work complete and in 
furnishing such help to the needy families of soldiers 
as devoted women can render. 

This associate society has since its organization in 


1879 raised and paid out for various charitable pur- 
poses, mostly for the benefit of the old soldiers and 
their families, nearly a million and a half dollars in 
money and supplies. 

At the encampment of the Grand Army of the Re- 
public held in St. Paul in September, 1896 the presi- 
dent of the Woman's Relief Corps reported that they 
had come into possession of a tract of land including 
Andersonville Stockade and Southern Prison Pen, 
which they proposed to restore and preserve as a colos- 
sal monument to the heroism and martyrdom of the 
nation's defenders who lost their lives therein. In this 
prison-pen thousands of the loyal patriots starved to 
death. The Woman's Relief Corps of the Grand Army 
of the Republic purpose furnishing convenient stop- 
ping-places for those who wish to visit this scene of 
martyrdom, that they may look upon the graves of 
those who here perished. These memories can no more 
perish while the nation stands than can Calvary and the 
Cross while the church and Christianity live to bless 
the world. All honor to those who conceived the per- 
petuation of such a national object-lesson and such a 
charity ! 

A large class of intelligent and loyal women, believ- 
ing that the Grand Army of the Republic Posts should 
have a corresponding organization into whose ranks 
none but those whose husbands, fathers, brothers, or 
sons had actual service in the army or navy of the 
Union should be admitted, united under the title, "Cir- 
cle of the Grand Army of the Republic," for the pur- 
pose of giving greater emphasis to loyal service in the 
country's cause. This movement was perfected in 1883, 
having taken form in a representative meeting in Tren- 
ton, New Jersey, on December 15, 1891. The princi- 
ples adopted indicated clearly the object of the organi- 


zation — "To unite with loyalty love for each other; 
to practice the precepts of true fraternity of feeling 
towards all sisters of one Order, thus emulating the 
spirit which unites our fathers, husbands and brothers ; 
to honor the memory of those fallen; to perpetuate and 
keep sacred forever Memorial Day ; to assist the Grand 
Army of the Republic, aid -and sympathize with them 
in their noble charity; to comfort the sick, help the 
needy, and to do all in our power to alleviate suffer- 
ing." This is an organization of the direct blood-rela- 
tions of those who shed their blood to save the Union 
for you. 

The whole ultimate design and object of these or- 
ganizations of the Grand Army of the Republic and 
auxiliaries is to preserve the trophies of war and its 
histories, to conserve peace and perpetuate and spread 
the gospel. 




The Psalmist allotted unto man three score years 
and ten in which to serve God. I have reached this 
age, and am two and a half years beyond it. My wife, 
to whom I have been married more than forty-seven 
years, has also passed the Psalmist's limit, and is by 
my side as I close this volume, the sharer of my joys 
in old age, of such disappointments as have come unto 
me, and of my hope in Heaven. We are quietly enjoy- 
ing our home in Topeka, resting as best we may after 
a long life of activity and toil. It would seem that 
we have been in the harness long enough to wish to 
lay it aside altogether. Yet it is difficult, after so 
many years of public labor, to accept a life of enforced 
idleness, and I rejoice in the fact that I am still able 
to serve the Master as opportunity afifords. We also 
rejoice that in looking over an earnest past our Hves 
have not been wholly spent in vain. Though falling 
short, no doubt, of the possibilities with which God 
endowed us we have yet tried to be of service in His 
cause, have tried to reach the mark of a high calling, 
have tried to do good unto our fellow-men, and are 
resting secure in the confident hope of a reward which 
shall come from On High. 

The part assigned me in the glorious work of sav- 
ing the Nation and freeing the slave, and my labors in 
bringing out of the house of bondage the thousands of 
contrabands who flocked to the Union armies in the 


Southwest during the war between the North and 
South, is especially gratifying as I reflect upon it and 
as I contemplate the far-reaching effect upon the civili- 
zation of the nineteenth century of the War of the Re- 
bellion. Yet not more gratifying are the successes of 
that bloody conflict than are those peaceful victories 
accomplished in the cause of the Master, in a contest 
of nearly half a century of ministerial labor with the 
agencies of the evil one. 

It will have been observed that by far the major part 
of my career as a laborer in the Master's vineyard has 
been spent as a pioneer in His service; first, in Ohio 
and Pennsylvania as an itinerant circuit rider, then as 
a vidette on the outposts of Zion during the territorial 
and early state days of Kansas, and yet later on the 
plains of Nebraska and in the mountain fastnesses of 
Utah, Idaho and Montana, among Mormons and 
miners, in all of which fields, during my most active 
service, the religion of Jesus Christ was as a sealed 
book to the masses unto whom I was called upon to 
preach. Necessarily this class of service entailed great 
hardships, mental, physical and financial; but we have 
tried to endure them as true soldiers of the Cross. Our 
trust has ever been in God, and we have always been 
sustained by His grace. Whenever we have faltered 
or swerved in the least from the path of righteousness 
and duty we have been promptly brought to see the 
error of our way, and have straightway made haste to 
reconsecrate ourselves to His cause with the utmost 
satisfaction and soul-inspiring enjoyment. Verily, 
without God and His Son our lives would have been 
but failures, our efforts in behalf of our fellow-men un- 
productive of real results. With Him in our lives and 
with His grace to sustain us always, our sorrows have 
been softened, our crooked paths made straight, our 


earthly credits have been rendered compensating. 

The Spirit has guided us for lo, these many years. 
Shall we falter now? Never! In the fullness of His time 
we shall reap our reward. For has he not said that 
there is a place prepared for them that love God and 
serve Him? 

"In my Father's house are many mansions. If it 
were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a 
place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you 
I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that 
where I am there ye may be also."